Advance Care Planning week starts on April 1st – 5th not only in Australia but also in Canada and the USA. These countries recognise the necessity to educate their population to help them understand the importance of Advance Care Planning.
What is Advance Care Planning?
An Advance Care Plan can be put in place when fit and healthy or in anticipation of your declining health due to injury, illness or disease. The Advance Care Plan is created before you lose the ability to speak for yourself to ensure your preferred choices of medical treatment and health care are provided.
Through appropriate planning, you have time to consider and choose how you will live the final stages of your life. Discuss your values, beliefs and healthcare preferences with your family, friends and doctor, then document your wishes in an Advance Care Plan.
In March 2018, The Medical Treatment Planning & Decisions Act 2016 became Law, but unfortunately only in Victoria. This Law provides you with the ability to implement a directive in advance that gives legally binding instructions for your future medical treatment. The Law also ensures your values and preferences are respected and acted upon, but only if you are no longer capable of communicating these wishes yourself.
According to Associate Professor Charlie Corke – an Intensive Care Specialist:
“About 80% of people at the end of their life are in a position where they can’t make their own decisions”.
Don’t let this be you, be wise and save your family the anxiety of having to make emotional decisions on your behalf. Quite often, families have major disagreements about what Mum’s or Dad’s wishes may have been.
An old saying for nurses is:-
“If it isn’t written it didn’t happen”. In other words, ensure your values, beliefs and preferences are written down in an Advance Care Plan, so that everyone in your family knows exactly what you want, then there are no arguments.
The Benefits of Advance Care Planning for You and Your Family
- Your wishes are known, respected and acted upon
- It reduces your anxiety about your end of life care
- You are more likely to die in your place of choice
- Palliative care services are implemented sooner
- There are less unwanted life-prolonging treatments at the end of life
- It improves surviving relatives psychological outcomes
- Families are more satisfied with the care provided.
By completing an Advance Care plan you are giving your children and family the precious gift of peace of mind.
Think Learn Change provides a comprehensive workshop to help you develop your own Advance Care Plan by addressing each question and helping you put your ideas, values and preferences into words. We explain all the requirements that need to be addressed so that your plan will be legal and binding.
For more information about the workshop or individual consultations send an email to: