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Advanced Care Planning Week 2024 | MedAdvisor

March 22, 2024

In Australia, it is National Advanced Care Planning Week. National Advance Care Planning Week is an annual initiative.  It aims to raise awareness about what advanced care planning is, why it is important and the benefits of having a plan for you and the people close to you. 

 Despite its value, advanced care planning in Australia is not well understood. Most people aren’t asked if they have an advanced care plan until their health gets worse. They are then in a position where making one is impossible.

So, what does Advanced Care Planning involve, why is it important, and how can you start the conversation with your loved ones? 

What Is Advanced Care Planning?

Advanced care planning is not a one-off discussion. It’s a thoughtful, open, ongoing series of conversations with your loved ones and doctors. These conversations, although sometimes challenging, allow you to share your values, beliefs, and healthcare wishes. Once you are clear on your wishes, write them down, choose a healthcare proxy, and if available in your state, upload them to your health record.

What Is the Value of Advanced Care Planning?

Advance care planning is essential to ensure your network knows what matters to you. It empowers you to make decisions about what healthcare treatments you would accept or refuse. It gives you a voice in advance for a time when you might not have one.   Advanced care plans can also benefit your loved ones, reducing their stress and anxiety if they are in a position where they need to make decisions about your care.

Who Should Have an Advanced Care Plan?

Regardless of age or health, everyone should consider advanced care planning. It's not about thinking about the worst; it's about planning for what is best for you. Think of it this way: you make a will to document your wishes for your estate. An advanced care plan is a living will that plans for other areas of your future.

However, advanced care plans are particularly important for those with chronic illness, life-limiting illnesses, and those at risk of dementia.

Starting the Advanced Care Planning Conversation

Advanced care planning is not one conversation. There are many things to consider, work out, and discuss. Starting the conversation is the first and often the hardest step. Where do you start?

Thinking about what is important to you day-to-day, what you value most in your life, and what makes a good day for you is a great place to start.  This should steer you to working out the more complicated things. For instance, if you consider sitting in your recliner, eating chocolate and watching TV as quality of life, and healthcare treatment would provide little chance of you still being able to do these things, would you want that treatment?

Advanced Care Planning Australia has some great suggestions about prompts for starting the conversation with your loved ones, your healthcare providers, or, if you are a healthcare provider, your patients. Some examples are:

About me

  • Being able to ...... is the most important thing to me because ......
  • I was thinking about what happened to ...... and it made me realise ......

 

About life

  • A good day for me is one where I ...... because ......
  • What I value and enjoy most in my life is ...... because ......

About health care

  • I would prefer to receive my health care at ...... because ......
  • I would want these people ...... included in discussions about my health.

About choices

  • I would not want ...... treatments if there was little chance of recovery because ......
  • If I was choosing between quantity and quality of life, I would choose ...... because ......

How to Participate in National Advanced Care Planning Week

Just like here at Med Advisor, we know that chronic illness and medication management is easier with support, and so is advanced care planning. You can be integral to increasing awareness about advanced care planning this week. 

National Advanced Care Planning Week is a great time to share what matters most to you and start that conversation.  It’s also an excellent opportunity to attend events online or in your local area.

Advanced Care PlanningShare your story, like Shaynee, Heather, Terry and Mary-Anne,  with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours via Facebook or LinkedIn using the hashtag #acpweek24.

The more people share this message, the closer we come to empowering everyone to make decisions about their future health and care.

Hear directly from a MedAdvisor user, Brooke who is a stroke survivor on why she uses MedAdvisor & how it has benefitted her immensely.
 

 

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