All Australians and their families are being encouraged to talk about what matters most during National Advance Care Planning Week (April 1 to 5).
Launched last year, the initiative invites people to start conversations with loved ones about what living well means to them, and who they would want to speak for them if they were unable to speak for themselves.
ACH Group’s Teresa Moran says she hopes the initiative will encourage all South Australians, regardless of their age or health status, to make their future health care preferences known.
Teresa is part of a team of specialists who run ACH Group’s Planning Ahead Advisory Service, which aims 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 themselves.
“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 of health professionals 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.
Why choose us?
Having a health professional guide you through the conversation can be useful in situations where there is a need to have a round table discussion to clarify wishes or where the person is unsure of their preferences or how to word them into a legal document.
Our staff do not sign the documentation as you must be independent of the person you are witnessing for and cannot be their health practitioner or paid professional carer.
We also work with people from non-English speaking backgrounds and can arrange for interpreters and work with cultural sensitivities around end of life matters.
People can choose to download the document for free however they will need to self-guide through the documentation.
A health professional, rather than a lawyer, could be a better choice to guide you and your family through these very sensitive conversations, including end of life matters, and help you to get your wording correct so that there leaves no element of doubt if difficult decisions are required to be made.
Visits can be held in the person’s home or at another location.
To find out more, call us on 1300 224 477 or click here.