Planning for your future care
Having a plan in place for your future and end-of-life healthcare is an important step as you get older. While it’s not something any of us like to dwell on, having an Advanced Care Plan (ACP) lets your loved ones know how you’d like to be treated and where you want to spend your final days if you lose the capacity to communicate your wishes.
An ACP allows you to plan ahead for what medical and personal care you want to receive if you can no longer speak for yourself. It ensures your wishes are carried out and reduces stress on your loved ones at what can be a difficult time. There are two components to think about when preparing an ACP.
As part of your ACP, you will have to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to make them for yourself. It’s important to choose an enduring guardian who you trust to make the same decisions as you would if you were able to communicate them for yourself.
It’s also important to appoint someone strong enough to stand up for your wishes in the case of family members insisting you receive invasive treatments, or doctors proposing ongoing tests and procedures that you don’t want.
It’s a good idea to spend some time discussing your values and wishes with your enduring guardian. For example, what do you consider to be an acceptable quality of life? And when would you want invasive treatments to stop and just be comfortable and allowed to pass away naturally?
Statement of values and wishes
A written statement of your intentions around end-of-life care makes your enduring guardian’s job easier and gives you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out.
It is important to remember that every competent adult has the legal right to accept or refuse any recommended healthcare, and your ACP only comes into effect if you are unable to make your own decisions.
It is recommended that you discuss your ACP with your family, your healthcare providers, and your friends, so everyone is aware of your wishes and your reasons for making those decisions. It’s also advisable to make enough copies of your ACP for everyone who may be involved in making healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Depending on which state or territory of Australia you live in, you may need to speak with your GP or a legal representative to complete your ACP.
KinCare is here to answer any questions you may have and support you through the process of preparing an ACP. Discussing your end-of-life care plan with your Customer Care Manager is a great way to get started.