Real people, real stories

Learning from their stories

These advance care planning case studies can help to promote discussions about advance care planning with individuals, family members and carers. They can also be used in advance care planning education and training settings for health and care workers.

By sharing your story too, you can help other Australians learn more about advance care planning and how they can plan for your future health care. Contact us to share your experience.

real people, real stories
"We choose our words and guide the discussion carefully. But we want people to understand that there is a choice. And at the end-of-life you can exercise that choice."
Catherine,
Advance Care Planning Australia volunteer, Austin Health, Melbourne.
  • Case study

    The key matters

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    The process of advance care planning can help you work through important issues.
  • Case study

    Putting it into words

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Advance care planing is a way of reframing hope. The process can help people to think about their preferences and choices, expressing hope for certain outcomes should their illness progress.
  • Case study

    It's not all up to you

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Advance care plans can provide certainty for family members, reducing the burden when a crucial decision is needed.
  • Case study

    The state of things

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Australia doesn't have a national law covering advance care planning, so it is help to understand the requirements for your state or territory.
  • Case study

    Talking about choices

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Group discussions about advance care planning in the community can be help for individuals through some of the more challenging aspects of the process.
  • Case study

    Partners in planning

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    General Practitioners can be a fantastic resource when preparing an Advance Care Plan.
  • Case study

    What are your goals

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    An Advance Care Plan can be your voice to guide your future health care.
  • Case study

    Making the plan

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    The Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) Advisory Service can help you to understand the concept and process of advance care planning.
  • Case study

    Assumed responsibility in terminal cancer

    Decision Assist

    According to Rita*, her mother, June, was “pretty unfortunate” to be diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 94.
  • Case study

    Learning and teaching from experience

    Decision Assist

    Mary Reynolds has been a hospital and general practice nurse for over 30 years. Mary’s time as a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit helped her to understand the difficult decisions that families and health professionals can face when caring for loved ones.
  • Case study

    Making decisions for someone else

    Decision Assist

    Emma’s* mother, Helen, is an immaculate, statuesque woman who has always looked after her health. And at 86, she is physically “fit as a trout”. But for the past three years Helen has suffered from dementia, and her cognition has rapidly declined in the last six months.
  • Case study

    Openly discussing her preferences

    Decision Assist

    When Sue* was in her late 30s, she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a condition that causes chronic inflammation of the bowel.
  • Case study

    Starting the conversation in aged care

    Decision Assist

    When Athena came across an Advance Care Plan, she thought, “This is exactly what I need”.
  • Case study

    Preparing for the unpredictable

    Decision Assist

    Prior to any formal diagnosis, Linda suspected her older sister Jo may be suffering from a mental illness. “She was making decisions that didn’t quite add up and things weren’t going her way in terms of relationships and work.”
  • Case study

    Advice for aged care

    Advance Care Planning Planning

    The National Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) Advisory Service frequently assists residential aged care homes with how to introduce advance care planning processes.
  • Case study

    On the same page

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Family discussions are an important starting point for advance care planning.
  • Case study

    A grey folder, no grey areas

    Decision Assist

    At 92 years old, Lorraine’s father, Jim, was an active great-grandparent and community volunteer, yet he meticulously maintained a grey folder documenting his end-of-life wishes. And according to Lorraine, he liked to remind the family about it at every available opportunity – over a period of 20 years!
  • Case study

    Respecting your values

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    The advance care planning process is flexible and allows people to revise the details of their Advance Care Plan, including their substitute decision-maker, as needed.
  • Case study

    Another step in the right direction

    Decision Assist

    Maria knows a thing or two about keeping family affairs in order.