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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How To Get Started

Advance Care Planning begins with your loved ones having an open conversation with you about their wishes and goals for care.

They can use the workbook to explore and share their care preferences with you. They don't have to write down their wishes, although it can be helpful for you to refer to in the future. They may even want to share their wishes with their doctor. For patients with more complex conditions, ACP discussions may need to be facilitated by a trained healthcare professional.



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​​​​​​​​​Simple Steps to Carrying out Advance Care Planning

1. Think About What Is Important

Your loved ones should consider reflect on your values, wishes, and even quirks. This will help them to be clearer with their choices and be able to share them more confidently with you.

You and your loved one may use the ACP workbook to help guide you.​

2. Talk wi​th Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is also about having a conversation that your loved one has with the person or people who will be their voice if they cannot speak for themselves – we call this person a Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson (NHS).

Your loved one should pick someone they trust and feel comfortable sharing their wishes and concerns with. The best people to talk with are family, or in some instances, trusted friends.

Your NHS would ideally:

  1. Be at least 21 years old.
  2. Be someone who knows you well. For example, a family member or a close friend.
  3. Be willing to speak up for your goals and values on your behalf.
  4. Be someone you trust and will act in your best interests to tell your doctors about the care you would like to receive should you lose mental capacity.
  5. Be someone who can handle stressful situations well.

Having your loved one talk with their NHS is the best way to make sure that their concerns are heard and their wishes are carried out. These conversations can vary and there is no right way of doi​ng it.

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If your loved one is finding it hard to find the right words, click here for some tips.
Do you remember what happened to Uncle Tim? I was thinking about it and I realised that if something similar happens to me, I would like you to know what to do for me. Recently, I learnt about Uncle Tim. This has made me think about what healthcare I would want if I got really sick. Can we talk about this?​
​I have been thinking about my health condition a lot lately. If something happens to me, I want you to know what to do.

​I have just updated my Lasting Power of Attorney, and there is a part about making decision for my personal welfare. I would like to chat with you about this.

Even though I am healthy right now, I am worried about what happens when my mind is no longer active, and I want to be prepared. It is important to me that I can make choices about my future healthcare. Can I tell you about my preferences and what I want and don’t want?

3. Document Your ACP

Documenting your loved one's ACP makes it available to their treating healthcare team when needed. Click here to find an ACP provider.

4. Review The ACP

As your loved one's life changes, so may their decisions. They may continue to make changes to your ACP as long as they have mental capacity.

Your loved one should read over their ACP every few years to make sure that it is still current. In addition, it is a good idea to review the ACP after the following events:

  • Every new decade of their life
  • After a significant medical diagnosis
  • After a significant change in their daily functioning (activities of daily living)

If your loved one has made changes to the ACP, they should be sure to update their NHS too so that they will be up-to-date with the new wishes.



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