Dealing with difficult conversations is something that most of us are not skilled at doing. We instinctively avoid pain, and seek pleasure. However, there are essential conversations, difficult that they may be, that all of us need to start having.

Advance care planning enables families to have clarity regarding the values and preferences of each individual family member regarding health and personal care. An Advance Care planning kicks in, when you are able to communicate these values and preferences.

According to Advance Care Planning Australia, this planning is particularly important for people who are older and are frail, or people who have a chronic illness, multiple diseases, an early cognitive impairment, or are approaching their end of life.

Advance care planning involves:

  • appointing a substitute decision-maker
  • completing an Advance Care Directive

Advance Care Directive will guide your loved ones and doctors so that they can make decisions that respect your values and preferences.

Australia joins USA, Canada and New Zealand with a focus on Advance Care Planning during National Aged Care Planning week, scheduled for 16 -22 April 2018. This week challenges all Australians to ask themselves who they would like to speak for them if they were too sick to do so, and what health care decisions they would want to make.

A number of health sector leaders from across Australia have joined forces to promote awareness and to host events during the week, with a number of ambassadors for the event also announced, including Advance Care Planning Australia’s Medical Director, Dr Karen Detering; and Chief Executive Officer of Palliative Care Australia, Liz Callaghan.

More information can be found about National Advance Care Planning here: https://www.advancecareplanning.org.au/acpweek