Advanced Care Planning
Advanced Care Planning means making important decisions about future care sooner rather than later it provides you and your family with time to discuss what is really important for you to live well. It can help the you and your family regain a sense of control.
The Australian population is ageing and as we age it is more likely that we will have at least one chronic condition. There may come a time that you are unable to speak for yourself because of your illness. Discussing your values, beliefs and preferences for care in advance can guide decision-making if you are unable to speak for yourself. A substitute decision-maker can be appointed to speak for you if you become to unwell to speak for yourself
Advance care planning involves thinking and making choices now to guide your future health care. It is a process of communicating your wishes, values, beliefs and treatment preferences with your family, friends and healthcare providers.
If you have strong beliefs about what you want to happen in the future, it is particularly important to make your plans and wishes known now. You can do this by having a conversation with those close to you and writing down your preferences.
Planning ahead can mean:
- discussing your health care and quality of life choices with those closest to you, and
- choosing and appointing your Enduring Power of Attorney(s), and/or
- completing an Advance Health Directive, and/or
- writing down your values, beliefs and health care preferences in a Statement of Choices.
Why should you plan ahead?
Planning in advance helps those close to you make health care decisions on your behalf, if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. It provides comfort for you and your loved ones knowing you have done your best to ensure your wishes can be respected. Advance care planning is a completely voluntary process.
Planning ahead can help to ensure:
- the treatment and care you receive in the future is in line with your wishes
- your loved ones won’t have to make difficult decisions on your behalf without knowing what you would have wanted
- your words guide those making decisions about your health care when you can’t speak for yourself
Even if you are fit and healthy, it is never too early to plan your future health care.
Important Information for you and your family:
It is recommended that you take several steps to make sure your wishes are known in case you become sick and unable to make your own decisions. These include:
- Think about your wishes for future care.
- Have the conversation.
- Consider appointing someone to be your medical treatment decision maker.
- Write your wishes down in an advance care directive.
- Give your advance care directive to others.
- Review it regularly or when your situation changes.
Below you will find a link to – Qld Office of Avanced Care Planning
Advance care planning and the law.