How To Get Started
Advance Care Planning begins an open conversation about your wishes and goals for care.
Simple Steps to Carrying out Advance Care Planning
1. Think About What Is Important
Start with reflecting on your values, wishes, and even quirks. This will help you to be clearer and more confident with your choices.
You may use the ACP workbook to explore and share your care preferences. You don’t have to write down their wishes, although it can be helpful for you to refer to in the future.
2. Talk with Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is also about having a conversation important people who will be your voice if you cannot speak for themselves – we call this person a Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson (NHS).
Pick someone you 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:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Be someone who knows you well. For example, a family member or a close friend.
- Be willing to speak up for your goals and values on your behalf.
- 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.
- Be someone who can handle stressful situations well.
Talking with your NHS is the best way to make sure that their concerns are heard and your wishes are carried out. These conversations can vary and there is no right way of doing it.
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Even though I am healthy right now, I am worried about what happens when my mind is no longer active, and I want to be prepared.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 ACP makes it available to their treating healthcare team when needed. Click here to find an ACP provider.
4. Review The ACP
As your life changes, so may your life goals and decisions. You may continue to make changes to your ACP as long as you have mental capacity.
Read over your ACP every few years to make sure that it is still current. In addition, it is a good idea to review your 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 you have made changes to the ACP, remember to update your NHS too so that they will be up-to-date with your new ACP.
Start Your ACP Journey
Find an ACP facilitator near you using our Directory here.
Click on the following pages to get more details on Advance Care Planning.
All About ACP
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the process of planning for future health and personal care. It includes discussing one’s personal beliefs and goals for care with their loved ones and healthcare providers.
Simple Steps For ACP
Advance Care Planning begins with your loved ones having an open conversation with you about their wishes and goals for care.
Other Ways To Plan Ahead
Apart from Advance Care Planning (ACP), there are other tools that can aid you and your loved ones in planning ahead should you lose mental capacity.
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