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1.10 Planning ahead: advance care planning

Making decisions

As a person’s condition changes, they may not be able to make or express a decision. This can range from medical decisions to signing forms for financial assistance or gaining access to services. Planning ahead, and appointing a trusted person to act in the role of substitute decision maker can make things easier. This must be done before a person loses capacity to do so. There are legal forms that will assist this. Please speak with the PCSE team if you require more information.

Often the person you are caring for can contact specific institutions such as their bank, Centrelink and aged care provider and provide permission for a specific person to act on their behalf through a nomination process.

Talk with PCSE social work for more assistance and information about these options.

Read PCSE’s brochure on Advance Care Planning. Our Advance Care Planning champion will discuss planning ahead with you.

Advance care planning

Advance care planning is an opportunity to talk about a person’s values and preferences for their future healthcare.

A written plan ensures there is clarity and consistency in everyone’s understanding, and provides the greatest opportunity for wishes to be honoured.

There are two main approaches and tools used in advance care planning:

  1. Advance Care Directive – preferences can be written down in a document for healthcare providers
  2. Appointing a substitute decision maker (called an Enduring Power of Attorney – Medical Treatment) or Medical Treatment Decision Maker.

Dying to Talk is a conversation starter kit for talking about end of life goals: dyingtotalk.org.au/discussion-starter