Like making a will, organising an advance care plan is just planning for the future.
Most people think about the type of health care they want when they are older especially if they become seriously ill, are injured or are no longer able to communicate their needs. Ideally these conversations start when people are well.
Many Pozhet clients have been asking about ageing and expressing concern about their treatment when they are older and frail and possibly unable to communicate. Many clients have indicated they do not have information or even know about how they might be able to plan for end of life issues. Of course this information is not just for older people. Advance care planning is important for all of us; patients, families and health workers.
Pozhet would like to suggest that all health workers check-in with clients or patients to make sure that they understand what advance care planning is. The 2017 Pozhet Needs Assessment showed that most clients rely on their health workers for information, so starting conversations and providing resources about topics such as planning for future care is important. People living with HIV have many concerns about being old and unable to care for themselves. They worry about who will make decisions for them especially when many have not disclosed their HIV status to family members. Planning ahead gives them some control of their future.
The NSW Ministry of Health has published information and tools to help people understand and complete a plan including making an Advance Care Directive which is valid and legally binding.