Advance care planning is about your future health care. It gives you the opportunity to plan for what you would want or not want, if you become unable to make or communicate your own preferences. We recommend that you review your decisions and documents regularly. This is particularly important if there is a change in your health, personal or living situation. You can update your Advance Care Directive or your appointment of an enduring guardian at any time providing you still have decision-making capacity.
Advance care planning:
- helps to ensure that a person’s preferences, beliefs and values about health care are known and respected if they are too unwell to speak for themselves
- benefits those who are close to them. Research has shown that families of people who have done advance care planning have less anxiety and stress when asked to make important healthcare decisions for other people
A written Advance Care Directive will make things easier for your substitute decision-maker(s), if the need ever arises. It will give everyone peace of mind, knowing your preferences are heard and respected.
Make copies and store them with:
- your substitute decision-maker(s)
- your GP/local doctor n your specialist(s)
- your residential aged care home
When should you make an Advance Care Directive?
You should start planning when you’re healthy – before there’s actually an urgent need for a plan. But having an Advance Care Directive in place becomes particularly significant towards the end of a person’s life. About 85% of people die after chronic illness, not as the result of a sudden event – so it’s important that your Advance Care Directive is ready in case it’s required someday