What if you had an accident or became so unwell that you were unable to speak for yourself?
- What sort of medical care would you want?
- Who would you want to make decisions for you?
- Have you spoken to your family or doctor about this?
An Advance Care Plan can make it easier for your loved ones to make difficult decisions about your health care in stressful and emotional times when you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
Anyone, regardless of their age or state of health, could have an accident or unexpected illness. Everyone should consider doing an Advance Care Plan. It is particularly impor- tant for people who have ongoing medical problems.
An Advance Care Plan is a written document that reflects what you would like done if you became unable to speak for yourself—so that your wishes are known and respected. It might include appointing a Substitute Decision Maker, and may also include recording which treatments you would or would not wish to receive in the future. An Advance Care Plan also allows you to write down other non-medical wishes.
- Topics that need to be considered include:
- Values that are important in your life
- Your current health and possible future health problems
- What you would want for future medical care
- Who you would want to make decisions for you.
- Discuss these things with your family, friends and loved ones as well as other involved health care providers
- Nominate your chosen Enduring Guardian
- Give copies of this document to your doc- tor, health care providers, Enduring Guardian and family/carers.
An Advance Care Plan can be done any- where and with anyone of your choosing be- ing present. Respecting Patient Choices Fa- cilitators may be able to come to your home if this is the most comfortable environment for you.
An Advance Care Plan booklet is available. This will guide you through the process. Topics addressed include wishes about Future Health Care, Appointing an Enduring Guardian and discussions on setting up a NSW Ambulance Authorised Adult Palliative Care Plan.
A facilitator can be organized to come to speak to you, answer any questions and help you fill out the documentation.