In dementia

The incapacity to make decisions is more certain and progressive in dementia, so advance care planning should cover an extended period of time and explore a wider range of issues.

Ideally, advance care planning will occur before or within a few months of dementia diagnosis, when the person is still able to meaningfully participate in the conversation. A person's Advance Care Directive should include what they would want at the end-of-life, preferences for health and personal care, and lifestyle issues such as living arrangements and community or religious involvement. Encourage the person and their family to be open to planning ahead, and to be specific when writing an Advance Care Directive so that their preferences are not left up to interpretation.

Download our fact sheets for individuals and for substitute decision-makers, to help them understand more about the considerations and choices they can make. The Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre in partnership with Dementia Australia (previously Alzheimer's Australia) have also developed workbooks and guides for a person and their family to help them start planning ahead.

Fact sheets

Advance care planning and dementia fact sheets

  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and dementia - for individuals

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet about advance care planning and dementia is for individuals outlining why planning ahead can help if memory is becoming more difficult.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and dementia - choosing a substitute decision-maker

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet about advance care planning and dementia is for individuals deciding who will speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and dementia - for substitute decision-makers

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet about advance care planning and dementia outlines the role and considerations of a substitute decision-maker and the decisions they make for someone on their behalf.
More information

More resources on dementia

  • Website

    Planning ahead (Start2Talk) for community and health professionals

    Dementia Australia

    Information about advance care planning for people with dementia and memory loss, for staff including doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, community care workers, dementia counselling and support workers.
  • Website

    Planning ahead, including advance care planning

    Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre

    For individuals with dementia, or other forms of cognitive decline, advance care planning may need to cover an extended period of time, and a wide variety of issues. Find reports, resources, workbooks, brochures, videos and podcast to support future planning and advance care planning for people with dementia.
  • Website

    Dementia training study centres

    Australian Government of Health

    Resource aims to improve the quality of care and support provided to people living with dementia and their families through providing development opportunities for existing and future dementia care health professionals.
  • Video

    Under-treated pain - Effective pain management for people with dementia

    Decision Assist

    Increase your understanding of prevalence of pain for a person with dementia and barriers for under treatment. Learn strategies and tools to identify and assess pain in people with dementia.
  • Website

    Resources for specific needs: People with dementia

    CareSearch

    Find resources about providing palliative care to people who have dementia on the palliAGED website, gathered and maintained by CareSearch.
  • Fact sheet

    Decision Assist: Why planning ahead can help if memory is becoming more difficult (Chinese - simplified)

    This fact sheet is for individuals affected by dementia.