Plan your future care
People plan for the future in different ways:
- insurance such as life, health, car, property, income
- trusts for the care of children with disabilities
- registering for organ donation
- making wills
- making funeral plans.
Part of planning for the future is to make choices now in case of injury or illness.
This can include by making:
- an advance care plan
- enduring powers of attorney.
Advance care planning
Advance care planning is when a person discusses with those close to them and their doctor their preferences for their future medical treatment and personal care.
Advance care planning is something that a person with capacity can do for themself. (And the wishes of someone who does not have capacity should always be sought.)
Making an advance care plan is a two-step process. First a person discusses their wishes (and generally records them), and then they appoint someone to be their substitute decision maker through making enduring powers of attorney. Advance care plans can be used by the substitute decision maker to help inform their decision-making when and if the time comes.
Advance care planning involves ongoing conversations and discussions. People’s views and wishes change with their changing experience, observations, and life circumstances. To undertake advance care planning a person needs to become comfortable with discussing wishes and plans over time.
More information on advance care planning is available on the following websites.
Advanced Care Planning Australia - http://advancecareplanning.org.au/
Here you will find links to local Respecting Patient Choices Programs and Advance Care Planning forms.
My Values - https://www.myvalues.org.au/
This site provides a values-based profile on attitudes to medical treatment
The Conversation Project - http://theconversationproject.org/
This is a US program to encourage people to discuss end of life wishes and there is an on-line Starter Kit.
Victorian Department of Health - http://www.health.vic.gov.au/acp/
Find contact details for eight Victorian Advance Care Planning programs and the Advance Care Planning: Have the conversation strategy for Victorian Health Services.
Making enduring powers of attorney
Making enduring powers of attorney involves appointing substitute decisions makers. The substitute decision maker can make decisions (about particular matters) for the person who appointed them in the event the person is unable to make their own decision because of illness or injury.
In Victoria, making enduring powers of attorney enables people to plan for their future:
- medical treatment and personal care
- management of their financial matters
- personal and lifestyles matters.
Choosing the right enduring powers and the right person to appoint is important.