Advance care planning is a process that often takes discussion and time. It can be done at any stage of life and can start with a simple conversation.
- Think about the values, beliefs and preferences that are important in your life.
- Think about your current and future healthcare and understand your options and choices.
- Talk about your values, beliefs and preferences with the people involved in your current care, such as family, friends and carers.
- Talk to your doctor regarding your preferences.
- Decide who you would like to speak for you if you become very sick and are not able to speak for yourself.
- Ask them if they are prepared to be your substitute decision-maker and consider legally appointing them.
- Make sure they clearly understand your values, beliefs and preferences.
- Put it on paper. You can write your own Advance Care Plan or download a form relevant to your state/territory law . Your doctor will also be able to assist you with the forms.
- Make copies and store them with relevant people. Be sure your substitute decision-maker and main doctor has a copy.
- Review your Advance Care Plan every year. You should also review your plan if there is a change in your health, personal or living situation.