WHAT MATTERS MOST TO YOU? ADVANCE CARE PLANNING
There’s no better time than now, to talk about what matters most to you: to clarify your wishes for your future health care, and to share your wishes with your family and health care team. It’s important to do it while you are well, when there’s time to reflect, and while you’re still able to speak for yourself.
Why does it matter?
- It helps to consider what kind of care you’d like in an emergency, or at the end of life – and what sort of care you would not wish.
- It helps to document these wishes, and to review them regularly to show you’ve had the same feelings over time.
- It means you can receive the care you want at the end of your life. Your health team have clear “instructions” and guidance from you, even if you are not able to express these at the time. This reduces the likelihood of treatment that you don’t want.
- It sets the scene for a “good death” and this helps your family in their time of loss. They can feel less anxious about having to make important decisions on your behalf. They can feel relieved that you got the care you clearly wished for.
20-26 March is Advance Care Planning Week across Australia.
Opening up the conversation is the hardest part. This may be the first time you’ve talked as a family about planning ahead in this way. At first you may not know how to put your wishes clearly into words.
There’s a wealth of information and events that you can access.
Have a look at the My Values website. Set up by Dr Charlie Corke, an ICU specialist in Victoria, this is a great site to help you get started on defining what really matters most. As you work through your responses to the “quiz” about possible critical decisions, you create a “My Values” report to keep on file as a clear statement about your wishes and values.
Read over the Advance Health Care Directive and Statement of Choices forms.
These forms for Queensland residents are available to download above, or you can ask us for a printed copy to be mailed to you.
Also on our website is a great podcast by Denise Sauer, which introduces the steps to completing your AHD. Click on the link to DWDQ - and check us out on Facebook!
Advance Care Planning Australia is a government funded website with easy to understand resources.
Have a look at their short videos, available on Youtube:
The questions that matter most, where 3 Australian families talk about their experiences.
Love is not enough, a moving and confronting look at how mistaken we can be about our family member’s wishes.
Request a free emailed Advance Health Care starter pack.
To mark Advance Care Planning Week, they are hosting 3 free webinars in March:
Advance Care Planning and dementia: Wednesday 22 March 11.30 (12.30 AEDT)
ACP for your future health care: Thursday 23 March 11.00 (12.00 AEDT)
ACP considerations for carers: Wednesday 29 March 11.30 (12.30 AEDT)
You can book into these at Advance Care Planning Week
VAD in Queensland
It’s now almost 8 weeks since VAD became a legal option for terminally ill Queenslanders. DWDQ has received many calls and requests for information. We have heard nothing but praise and appreciation for the care that people have received from the QVAD Support team. We acknowledge that it must be a huge step to make that first call. How good to know that people feel so well supported. We hope we can provide more detail in coming weeks. Meanwhile, if you have a question about VAD, your eligibility, how to find a VAD provider locally, or any questions at all –
- call 1800 431 371 to speak directly to QVAD Support
- call 1300 733 818 to talk to DWDQ.
We’d like to acknowledge and say a big thank you to all our donors, who’ve so generously made it possible for us to keep going through this critical first year of VAD in Queensland. We really appreciate your support. It means we can contribute to the smooth working of this new law, and eventually to the review in 3 years’ time. Thank you!