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David welcomes mobile Planning Ahead service

two older people smiling

Almost every minute of David Harwood’s day is taken up caring for his wife Angela, who has neurofibromatosis and Alzheimer’s Disease.

David says finding time to plan ahead is hard as it’s a full-time job preparing meals, looking after the home and helping Angela with exercises and getting around.

When he came across ACH Group’s mobile Planning Ahead service last year, he seized the opportunity to have someone come to the house.

“Having ACH Group come here took a whole lot of pressure off, because being a carer means you don’t have the time or the energy to do things outside the home,” Mr Harwood says. “As well as being convenient, I found it quite comforting to talk about our situation rather than having to self-analyse.”

The Harwoods are among a growing number of South Australians who have taken advantage of ACH Group’s Planning Ahead service since its launch just over 12 months ago.

The service brings together a team of health professionals to help people understand and set up their Advance Care Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney.

An Advance Care Directive sets out a person’s wishes around lifestyle, health and end of life decisions and involves appointing a substitute decision maker. An Enduring Power of Attorney also involves appointing a substitute decision maker (attorney) – often a family member or trusted person – to manage financial affairs in the event that someone can no longer do it by his or herself.

ACH Group’s Teresa Moran says the service is meeting a gap in the market and is set to expand into Victoria this year.

“People know that they need to have these important documents in place but they don’t always know where to start,” Ms Moran says. “That’s where we come in – we provide the catalyst for important conversations that may not otherwise happen and then help navigate the steps required to complete the paperwork.”

The Planning Ahead team helps clarify planning ahead needs, advises on resources, suggests family discussions, helps prepare the paperwork and advises about the role of JPs to witness and certify forms ready for distribution. Visits can be held in the person’s home or at another location.

Find out more about ACH Group’s Planning Ahead Advisory Service here.