As part of National Advance Care Planning Week, the Western NSW Health District (WNSWLHD) is encouraging us all, regardless of our current health, to start the advanced care planning discussion with our loved ones.
WNSWLHD Chief Executive, Scott McLachlan, said, “This is an important discussion for us all”.
Advance care planning is a process, which promotes care that is consistent with your goals, values, beliefs and preferences. It prepares you and others to plan for future health care at a time when you may no longer be able to communicate those decisions yourself.
With an ageing population, advance care planning is becoming an increasing priority for both the community and health sector.
As it currently stands less than 15% of Australians have documented their preferences in an Advance Care Directive, despite the fact that almost 50% of people will be too unwell to make their own end-of-life decisions.
“It is best if advanced care planning discussions start when you are well, you do not need to wait until you have a life limiting illness to start these conversations”. Mr McLachlan said.
“You can also document your wishes in an advanced care directive”. Mr McLachlan said.
Your General Practitioner and other health professionals can assist you in documenting your wishes.
NSW Health has a Making an Advance Care Directive - form and information booklet, which can be accessed here
or by contacting a health professional.
This booklet includes the following information:
- What is an Advance Care Directive?
- Why an Advance Care Directive is important?
- How to prepare for making an Advance Care Directive
- How to make an Advance Care Directive
- When it applies and when is it valid.