Advance Care Planning – Understanding Your Choices & Making Your Wishes Known

Most Australians are living longer than ever before and many of us can look forward to a happy and healthy old age.

While we may look forward to a long life, we still need to think about what happens to us as we near the end of our lives.

Advance Care Planning is a process for thinking and discussing what kind of care you might want, where you might want to be cared for and by whom, and what things are important to you for an acceptable quality of life.

After the thinking, the next step is talking with family/friends, seeking advice from medical or other professionals if needed. It’s also thinking about and discussing who would be a good person to act as substitute decision-maker – to be your voice when you can’t speak for yourself.

Then it’s time to write it down in an Advance Care Directive (ACD). This is a document in which you document the decisions you reach through the planning process.

Writing it down is great, but it is not nearly as important as TALKING to your family, or whomever you think needs to know what your preferences and wishes would be if ever someone else had to speak on your behalf.

And remember, your ACD needs to be up-dated regularly especially if your situation changes.

Click for a large print version of the Advance Care Directive

What Matters Most for Older Australians

The What Matters Most for Older Australians resources are available on the Dying to Talk website. They can help older people work out what would be right for them, if they were really sick or at the end of their life rather than waiting for a crisis to occur.

For more information on Dying to Talk Discussion Starters please click here.

For more information and support

Respecting Patient Choices: A program for supporting advance care planning in Australia. Pamphlets in languages other than English, short films about end of life decision making.

Guardianship Board of Tasmania: Information, fact sheets and form for appointment of an Enduring Guardian.

Department of Health and Human Services: Information about guardianship and powers of attorney

Please note: These links are for information purposes only. PCT is not responsible for the content of these websites. If you notice any of the links are broken, or would like to suggest additional information resources to be added, please contact us.