Consider Advance Care Planning

The Central Australia Health Service is inviting members of the community to start conversations with loved ones about what living well means to them and to reflect on who they would want to speak for them if they were too sick to speak for themselves.

“Next week is National Advance Care Planning Week and a time for everyone, regardless of their age or health status, to make their future health preferences known,” said Sue Grant, Palliative Care Social Worker.

“Research shows that the majority of people do not discuss or plan for the type of care they would want to receive during a period of illness, particularly at the end of life.

“This can be problematic in situations where their doctor or family and friends are not aware of what their wishes may be,” Ms Grant said.

The Northern Territory’s Department of the Attorney General and Justice has an Advance Personal Plan template available to all Territorians.

An Advance Personal Plan is a statement of your views, wishes and beliefs about how you would like your appointed decision maker(s), health professionals and any other person providing care for you to act.

“The Advance Personal Plan document enables people to plan for future decisions, including health care, property, financial affairs, and other lifestyle matters, and to appoint trusted family or friends as a substitute decision maker(s),” Ms Grant said.

This document only takes effect if you can no longer make these decisions yourself and replaces what was formally an enduring power of attorney.

It is advisable to complete an Advance Personal Plan with family, friends or a local primary health provider. Residents of Central Australia also can talk to a staff member of Territory Palliative Care – Central Australia by calling 8951 7777.

More information is available at www.advancepersonalplanning.nt.gov.au

Media contact: Gail Turner – 0476 839 383

Last updated: 01 April 2019