Advanced Care Planning Week 16 -22 April

Friday, 13 April 2018
Advanced care planning is something that everyone should consider; not just the elderly or sick.

Advanced Care Planning Week from April 16-22 is being held to promote the system as part of everyday conversations.

Being prepared for this difficult time can reduce anxiety for ill people, their loved ones and health professionals.

Portland District Health is able to help people and families with advanced care planning and is encouraging all local residents to have their medical wishes recorded.

Advanced care planning documents how people want to manage their health care if they lose their decision-making capacity.

PDH District Nursing Service Nurse Unit Manager Jo Spurge said everyone should consider appointing a medical treatment decision maker and do an instructional directive for treatment.

We encourage people to think about who you would want to make decisions for you regarding your health and personal care if you were not able to make it yourself, and to compile your advanced care directives in consultation with a GP, Ms Spurge said.

You can document guidelines around what treatment you may or may not want in the future and that has to be followed by medical professionals.

Ms Spurge said every person over 18 should consider an advanced care plan and think about who would make a decision for them.

It's not just for elderly or people who know they are dying, she said.

New rules mean that for those who haven’t nominated a person to carry out their wishes, a domestic partner can make those medical decisions.

However, Ms Spurge said having plans in place meant loved ones could act on documented wishes.

PDH's Community Palliative Care staff and the HARP team can help people to set their advanced care plans, but GPs, practice nurses, allied health professionals and district nurses can also provide support.

People wanting to know more about advanced care planning can visit the website

People can also contact PDH's primary care department on 5522 1180

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