National Advanced Care Planning Week: Share what matters most and plan your future health care

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Advance care planning involves exploring and documenting wishes and preferences about health care, so if there comes a time when you are unable to communicate for yourself, those wishes and
preferences can guide care decisions.

This article was originally written by the team at Advance Care Planning Australia.

National Advance Care Planning Week, 18 – 24 March, reminds all of us to share what matters most.

Starting the conversation about advance care planning is an important first step you can take to ensure your preferences for future care are known and respected. Sometimes it can be hard to know what to say.

Advance Care Planning Australia’s conversation starters offer suggestions on how to open a
conversation about what matters most to you, what you value, and what you are worried about.

You can also consider:

  • Who would you want to make decisions about your care if you were not able to communicate for yourself?
  • What are the important things you want that person to know, to help make it easier for them to make decisions on your behalf?

Conversations about future care should ideally involve your loved ones and health professionals. This may include someone you have formally appointed as a substitute decision-maker, biological or chosen family, or other important people in your life.

Remember, it isn’t easy to decide about appropriate health care if health professionals and the people you entrust to communicate on your behalf do not know what you want. It’s important to give them confidence by clearly communicating and documenting your wishes and preferences.

Advance care planning gives you a voice and more control about your own medical treatment decisions. You can find more information on how to plan for your future health care by visiting: https://www.advancecareplanning.org.au/create-your-plan

Not sure what to say to your loved ones? Watch Advance Care Planning Australia’s ‘Share what matters most’ video – a conversation with Dr Greg Parker and Lesley Habel, National Manager Advance Care Planning Australia to support your advance care plans: Share what matters most – what you need to know about advance care planning (youtube.com)

National Advance Care Planning Week encourages all Australians to plan their future health care and
start the conversation today. For more information visit https://www.acpweek.org.au

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