Advance Care Planning and My Health Record for Carers Webinar

Two ladies walking

Following National Advance Care Planning Week, members of the public joined our webinar and questions and answers (Q&A) session to learn how to support their loved ones to prepare for future health care decisions. 

Through advance care planning, you and the person you care for can talk about and write down their values and what quality of life means to them. You can explore what future medical treatments and care they would, or would not, want to receive if they are no longer able to make or communicate those decisions.  

Learn how you can upload advance care planning documents to My Health Record or get support to upload. This will enable documents to be accessed when they’re needed most.   
A collaboration between Carers Australia, Advance Care Planning Australia and Australian Digital Health Agency, the webinar featured an expert panel including Advance Care Planning Australia Community Ambassador and carer Jenny Dexter along with Carers Australia National Policy & Strategy Director Kelly Gourlay, Advance Care Planning Australia National Manager Samantha McCLoy and Australian Digital Health Agency Education Manager Kate Ellis.  

This one hour webinar and 15 minutes Q&A was hosted for people to learn more about the roles of carers, support people and appointed substitute decision-makers in advance care planning. 

You can watch the full webinar video here

Frequently asked questions for carers

Is an advance care directive the same as a living will?

An advance care directive is a legally binding document that allows you to outline your values and preferences for medical care in the future. This is known by different names depending on the state or territory you live in. You may know this as a ‘living will’; however, this is not terminology that we use.

Where should I store an advance care directive?

You should provide a copy of your advance care planning documents to your substitute decision maker if you have appointed one, or the person who will make decisions on your behalf if you become unwell. You might also like to provide a copy to other close family members or friends, as well as any healthcare professionals you may have involved in your care. Keeping a copy on your fridge or with any medications you take is also a good option. You can also store your advance care planning documents on My Health Record. 

How do I go about doing advance care planning?

1. The first step in advance care planning is to think about what is important to you and your future health care. You may find it useful to think about your current health and your future health.

2. You can then have a conversation with those close to you about your preferences for health care, to ensure they understand your choices.

3. You may then like to appoint a substitute decision-maker: someone to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so for yourself.

4. Lastly, you can record your choices in the relevant document for your state or territory. 

What is my role as a carer in advance care planning and My Health Record?

As a carer, you can be set up in My Health Record as a nominated representative or an authorised representative of the person you care for, to help support and express their wishes. Nominated or authorised representatives can view the advance care planning documents on the My Health Record of the person they care for. If you are an authorised representative or full access nominated representative for the person for you care for, you can also assist by uploading their advance care planning documents to their My Health Record on their behalf.

How do I become a representative in My Health Record to help the person I care for?

Nominated representative

The person you care for (the record owner) can invite you to become a nominated representative and they will choose the level of access you can have in My Health Record. The levels of access include general access, restricted access or full access. A nominated representative must act in accordance with the will and preferences of the person being cared for.

Authorised representative

An authorised representative is a person who is responsible for managing someone’s My Health Record if they are not able to make decisions for themselves. An authorised representative has complete access and control over the record, as if it were their own. This process is more in-depth than for a nominated representative and may require 100 points of identification when applying.

How do I upload an advance care planning document to My Health Record?

To upload an advance care planning document to My Health Record:

1. Scan all pages of the advance care planning document onto your computer

2. Save the file with a filename including the person’s full name, the words, ‘advance care plan’ and the date.

3. Log into the relevant My Health Record via MyGov.

4. Select the documents tab from the top menu and scroll down to ‘Advance care planning’ from the drop down list.

5. Select ‘Add an advance care planning document’.

6. Upload a PDF copy of the document.

7. Once complete you are also able to upload details of your advance care plan custodian.

See also: 

Advance Care Planning Explained

Upload your advance care planning documents to your My Health Record

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