Advance Care Planning Week

couple embracing

The first-ever National Advance Care Planning Week, 16-22 April, was launched by the Minister for Health the Hon. Greg Hunt MP to focus the community’s attention on a concept that is not well understood by the general public.

Recognising advance care planning as a critical area of public health care, the CDPC has developed accessible resources and partnered with Dementia Australia to develop the Start2Talk website.

With advance care planning people can make decisions and discuss their future health care with a person they trust, to ensure their palliative care and end of life wishes are honoured.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said advance care planning is essential planning for everyone and especially important for people living with dementia.

“Planning ahead is putting instructions in place so your choices are known and acted on if later in life if you cannot express these choices yourself. It also helps loved ones support your decisions should they be nominated to act on your behalf.

“It can be less daunting to approach the topic of advance planning if you follow a process. The resources available through Start2Talk offer a step-by-step guide to support people having these important conversations,” she said.

The resources, hosted on the Dementia Australia Start2Talk website, include short videos from carers and a GP discussing their experience of planning ahead and why it is important. There are also brochures, which can be used with people living with dementia, and their carers and families, who may be called on to make decisions when someone can’t do this themselves.

Professor Meera Agar, Palliative Care Physician and academic, who led a CDPC project looking at how advance care planning is different for a person with dementia, says that the resources have been developed based on research looking into how to improve advance care planning for those with dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.

“Our research included interviews with over 80 people with experience in advance care planning in a variety of community, aged and health care settings from across Australia. The resources have also been developed and trialled with a number of organisations,” she said.

CDPC report, Future planning and advance care planning: why it needs to be different for people with dementia and other forms of cognitive decline
CDPC Advance Care Planning resources website
See more CDPC videos here and also see the CDPC YouTube channel