Advance Care Planning

Tools and resources about ageing and advance care planning.

Why plan for the inevitable?

It may seem odd to plan for an end of life given that you can’t escape the consequences. But everyone wants to think that their last days on earth will culminate in a “good death”. An Advance Care Plan allows you to specify in writing how you would like to be cared for when you are no longer able to make your wishes known. It enables you to agree to or decline clinical interventions and to nominate a Substitute Decision Maker who can make choices on your behalf, informed by your pre-recorded preferences.

Consumer stories on advance care planning, produced by Health Issues Centre.

It’s such a good idea you would think that everyone would have one but the reality is most of us don’t. It seems that while we are happy to plan beyond the grave (allocate our assets, detail our funeral and pre-purchase memorial sites) we are reluctant to contemplate our journey there. While it’s understandable that we don’t feel comfortable considering the prospect of declining capabilities and loss of independence, avoiding the conversation unfortunately means someone else may be making our end of life choices for us. 

There won’t be a better time than now to start thinking about what makes life worth living and what makes it unendurable, to have a conversation with someone you trust about your wishes for end of life care. And to document those wishes so they provide clear guidance for your appointed Substitute Decision Maker, your doctors and your family in the event that you can no longer speak for yourself.

This site provides you with tools, resources and conversations that will help you initiate difficult conversations and provide some insight as to how others have tackled this unavoidable human condition. 

Chris Thorne, Aboriginal Support Worker, encourages everyone to discuss their wishes with family.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What things matter most to you / what are your goals?
  2. What are your fears about what is to come?
  3. How do you like to make decisions and who do you want to be involved?
  4. What would you like do as time runs short?
  5. How important are the following considerations:
  • Managing pain and suffering
  • Longevity
  • Dignity 
  • Independence

Join the social media conversation Unspoken; Ageing Parents

BJ Miller discusses what really matters at the end of life


For more information, contact us.

In the spotlight

Current projects

Here is a list of projects that we are currently working on with consumers and health organisations.

Find out more

Subscribe to Full Circle

Our monthly newsletter