April 3, 2019

National Advance Care Planning Week: Your Life. Your Voice. Your Choice.

This week is National Advance Care Planning Week, an opportunity to prepare for our future healthcare. A time to speak up and be heard about what matters most to you.

Vera Ray, was already very knowledgeable about Advance Care Planning, when she met Anne Marie Fabri, Manager Advance Care Planning at Northern Health.

“What I didn’t know was all the new laws and rules. She alerted me to certain things I had no idea about. For instance, the fact that my GP had to be a part of the conversation and the process. She was very informative!”

Vera believes in planning ahead.

“I used to be a teacher. I worked until I was 82, then I went back to school – to uni, and I became a psychologist and I worked in private practice,” Vera says.

“I was a bit worried about being retired, but that was silly. I have never been busier than I am now. There is plenty to do!”

She took a similar approach to Advance Care Planning.

“You’ve got to write it down, otherwise people don’t know what you want.”

Advance Care Planning is a way to choose who you would like to make medical decisions for you, if you were too sick to do this for yourself. It starts a conversation with family, friends and healthcare providers about what your values and preferences for future healthcare are, and what you want them to consider for you.

“You have to really understand what you want. You have to express it so other people understand – you have to say how you want it.”

For some people, it is about lifting a burden off others. For others, it is about having a say, being in control.

“Look, I think everybody should have a plan and it should be written down very clearly,” Vera says.

Advance Care Planning is something we can all do – have you had the conversation?

For more information on Advance Care Planning, call 9495 3235 or email acp@nh.org.au

The photo is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the person interviewed in this article.