If you became ill, palliative or were seriously injured are you sure that your wishes in regard to your care and your wants would be met?
This is where an Advanced Care Plan comes into play. It is a document that you can complete and hand out to your family and your doctor to ensure your wishes are carried out. An Advanced Care Plan can also be verbally communicated to family members and your doctor.
When we talk about wishes, it is not about your assets – that’s what your will is for.
An Advanced Care Plan ensures that your wishes regarding your health and your life are met. For example you may have very strong feelings about never being resuscitated. However, without an Advanced Care Plan in place your family and your treating medical team may not be aware of this.
Planning for the possibility that you may become incapacitated means that what you want will be carried out once you are not able to articulate this yourself. An Advanced Care plan gives you the peace of mind you need.
Some quick notes about an Advanced Care Plan (ACP):
- Anyone can set up an ACP (it’s not just for older adults, or those who are unwell)
- When you create your ACP you will choose a substitute decision-maker who will speak on your behalf about your wishes
- It is a process of reflecting on and communicating your wishes and values
- You can simply write your own ACP, or use a downloadable template
- Make sure your family and close friends are aware of your ACP
- Make sure your doctor has a copy
- It is a good idea to keep one copy at home in a visible location – this way it is on-hand in an emergency and someone can pass it onto the Ambulance officers
Ensure that your loved ones know what type of health care and medical care you choose for yourself.
In Victoria you will need these components:
- Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) – to appoint your substitute decision maker
- Advanced Care Plan/Care Directive – documenting your wishes so that your substitute decision maker and your doctor can make the decisions for you as per your request
- Refusal of Treatment Certificate – this relates to a current condition you may have, and you can legally refuse all or some medical treatments related to this condition.
Find out more about ACP and any forms/paperwork you need to complete on the Advanced Care Planning Australia website. https://www.advancecareplanning.org.au/