At South West Healthcare we have a trained Advance Care Planning (ACP) officer and facilitators who can help you think and talk about the medical treatment you would, or would not want, if you became unwell.
In your discussions with our ACP team, other health professionals and your Appointed Medical Treatment Decision Maker (previously known as Medical Enduring Power of Attorney), your spiritual and cultural beliefs will be known and respected. Your wishes and choices will enable you to be cared for as you would want.
Who can contact our Advance Care Planning office?
Any individual or family member that would like more information on advanced care planning may contact our officers. We also welcome referrals from:
Our Advance Care Planning officers works part-time and are supported in this work by our facilitators, staff on the wards and our various services.
Information about Advanced Care Planning may also be obtained from your GP clinic. GP clinics have trained staff, who can assist in the development and completion of an Advanced Care Plan and or Appointed of Medical Decision Makers (previously known as Medical Power of Attorney).
Advance care planning is an on-going process of shared planning for current and future health care. It involves talking about a person’s values, beliefs and preferences so they can guide decision making when the person cannot make or communicate their decisions. This program is supported by funding from the Australian Government. Find out more details the Advance Care Australia website.
Everyone should consider advance care planning, regardless of their age or health. It can be particularly important to individuals such as people with an advanced chronic illness, a life limiting illness, are aged 75+ years or at risk of losing competence.
Completing an Advance Care Directive often reassures individuals and their families as they have a clear idea of what is desired by the person in the event of illness or injury.
In the event of serious illness doctors will make treatment decisions based on their assessment of the best interests of the person. This may include treatments that the person would not want.
These are only used if a person is unable to make or communicate their decisions. The Directive would then be used to guide the decisions made by the medical staff in consultation with an appointed substitute decision-maker if one has been nominated, and family.
MyValues is an online tool that you may find useful when thinking about choices concerning your health care or medical intervention.
As a result of serious illness, accident or simply as a result of decline at the end of life, you may reach a stage when you are incapable of making or communicating your choices concerning your health care and medical intervention.
In this situation, your doctor and family will have to make decisions for you and they will look for clear guidance from you. MyValues may help you in explaining your values in relation to life, death and medical intervention. Understanding and respecting your values will help your doctors and your family to make better choices about your medical treatment. With this information, they can feel reassured that they are respecting your wishes.
The MyValues tool can be accessed via the myvalues.org.au website.
Advanced Care Planning is a free service, there is no cost involved.