Thinking about your preferences for future health care is critical in preparing yourself, and others for a time when you may no longer be able to communicate those decisions.
This process of Advance Care Planning helps health professionals, loved ones and others provide quality of life and care that matters most to a person if they were to lose the capacity to speak for themselves.
Advance Care Planning Week is a national and annual initiative by Advance Care Planning Australia, which will be held on 21-27 March this year.
During this week, the aim is to spark conversations around what is important to your future health care. Australians, regardless of age or health status, are encouraged to make their future health care preferences known.
So how can you get involved?
1. Start a conversation
Starting a conversation about a topic as taboo as death can be the hardest part - not knowing what to say or how to say it. Starting a conversation can be as simple as discussing the necessities important for you to live well.
To help you start the conversation, Advance Care Planning have shared some great conversation starters.
2. Watch a Ted Talk
There are many Ted Talks that can give you insight into the importance of choosing an end-of-life pathway that resonates best with your values.
Two Ted Talks that are particularly helpful, are Caregiver, Lucy Kalanithi's ‘What makes life worth living in the face of death' and Doctor Peter Saul's ‘Let's talk about dying'.
3. Read a book
Reading can give you the knowledge to understand what matters most to you and process these thoughts at your own pace.
Alternatively, you could read a book about end-of-life planning in a book club and take the time to discuss what it means to have autonomy in choosing how your life looks.
4. Learn from others
Sharing stories can be a powerful way to start conversations and encourage others to share their story.
Read about real peoples' experiences with advance care planning.
When you are ready, you can create your own Advance Care Plan. If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure about what matters to you, we recommend visiting MyValues to help identify, consider and communicate your wishes.
By talking, listening and learning, together, we can make sure more West Australians are empowered to make their own end of life decisions.
Plan for tomorrow and live for today.
For more information:
- Learn more about National Advance Care Planning Week
- Palliative Care WA offer community workshops and an Advance Care Planning support service
- As part of your Advance Care Planning, you may need to write or update your Will. When writing your Will, we encourage you to considering including a gift in your Will to a cause close to your heart, as gifts in Will provide hope for future generations. Find out more about leaving a gift in Will to Cancer Council WA.