National Advance Care Planning week is a week-long initiative from 21 - 27 March to raise awareness of advance care planning. We're encouraging all Australians to plan their future health care preferences and for Health Professionals and Aged Care Workers to start the conversation about what is important with their patients.
What is Advance Care Planning?
Advance care planning allows health professionals to understand and respect a person's healthcare preferences, if the person ever becomes seriously ill and unable to communicate themselves.
Advance care planning can result in a person's preferences being documented into a WA Advance Health Directive to help ensure these preferences are respected. This will only be used once the person loses capacity to make or express their preferences.
Who needs to do Advance Care Planning?
Everyone, regardless of age or health, should consider advance care planning. It can be particularly important to individuals such as people with a chronic illness, a life- limiting illness, are aged 75 years or older or at risk of losing competence.
I am a Health Care Professional/Aged Care Worker; how can I get involved?
Advance care planning is a voluntary process and can allow health professionals to understand and respect a person's future healthcare preferences, for a time when they become seriously ill and unable to communicate those decisions for themselves. It can achieve peace of mind by making their values, beliefs and health care preferences known to friends, family, and care providers.
Health care professionals and aged care workers have an important role to initiate advance care planning and ensuring people have choice in their care. Advance care planning conversations should be routine and occur as part of a person's ongoing health care plan.
Better outcomes are experienced when advance care planning is introduced early as part of ongoing care rather than in reaction to a decline in condition or a crisis situation.
This Advance Care Planning Week:
- Be open
- Find out more about advance care planning requirements and laws relevant to Western Australia
- Encourage your patients and colleagues to start thinking and talking about their beliefs, values, and preferences regarding their current and future care
- Undertake training in advance care planning to increase knowledge and improve skills
- Start the conversations with other health care professionals
To learn more about your role and responsibility, visit Advance Care Planning website.
Resources available for Health Care Professionals and Aged Care Workers:
• New WA Advance Health Directives have been approved and Advance Health Directive guidelines and resources are being developed. Please see the WA Department of Health website for WA specific Advance Health Directives information.
• We understand that making or helping with an Advance Care Plan or Advance Health Directive decisions can be complex and sometimes overwhelming. If this is the case, we recommend visiting MyValues.
• WA tool developed by Palliative Care WA in collaboration with Advanced Care Planning Consortium: