Advance Care Planning

If you were too unwell and not able to communicate your preferences for healthcare or personal care to others, who would speak on your behalf? And more importantly, what medical decisions would you want them to make?

Advancing illnesses or sudden events can sometimes mean that a person may lose the ability to make decisions about their health and personal care. Advance care planning is a way that enables you to think about and discuss your personal values, wishes and beliefs along with your healthcare preferences and what matters most to you at the end of life.

Regardless of age or health status, everyone should consider advance care planning, however, it becomes more important if you are living with a life-limiting illness, have a new diagnosis such as cancer, have a cognitive impairment or are at risk of losing decision-making ability.

Planning ahead when you’re well before there is an urgent need for a plan, will ensure you receive the care you want, improve ongoing and end-of-life care for you and your family and you can find comfort in knowing that your wishes will be known and respected (Advance Care Planning Australia).

Advance Care Planning should be part of routine care that is an ongoing process involving open honest conversations between all people involved in the care and support of the person. This may include family members, friends, general practitioners, nurses, community services, allied health, specialist palliative care services and carers.

You can start by thinking about and discussing what type of care you want and the care you don’t, where you might want to be cared for and by whom, and what things are important to you for an acceptable quality of life. What brings you the greatest joy in life? What does a good day look like for you?