Have you thought about what your life would look like if you fell sick or had an accident, and could no longer care or speak for yourself? Sometimes you need to think about the different situations you may find yourself in as you move through life. Although you can’t predict the future, you can plan ahead to ensure your health wishes and choices are known by your family, friends, doctors and health professionals.
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the ongoing process of sharing your wishes, beliefs and health choices with your family, friends, doctors and health professionals. You can start Advance Care Planning at any stage of your life, regardless of your age or health status. A plan for the future will prepare you for unexpected illnesses, accidents or emergencies. It will ensure your loved ones and doctors are aware of your choices and can make decisions about the care that you would want.
Five simple steps to Advance Care Planning
Your personal values and beliefs determine what matters most to you in life. They guide the way you live your life and shape the decisions you make. Consider what you would need to live meaningfully and what would be important to you if you have an accident or fall ill and lost the ability to speak for yourself or make decisions about your care.
You can start thinking about:
|If you would like to read more, the following websites might be helpful:|
|The following websites and resources can help you start the conversation:
To ensure your wishes are carried out and your loved ones, doctors and health professionals understand your choices, you will need to complete and sign advance care planning documents relevant to Queensland, including Enduring Power of Attorney, Advance Health Directive and/or Statement of Choices (documents in other states and territories are different). Some documents of these documents may require discussions and sign off by your doctor, Lawyer or Justice of the Peace for completion.
You will need to be 18 years or older and have decision-making capacity.
What is decision-making capacity?
Capacity is a legal term that refers to the ability to exercise the decision making process to make informed decisions about personal health and financial matters.
All adults are presumed to have capacity to make decisions unless it can be shown otherwise. A person with decision making capacity can:
You can find more information about decision making capacity in the Queensland Capacity Assessment Guidelines 2020.
What ACP documents do I need to complete in Queensland?
Once your documents are completed, signed, dated, and witnessed as per
requirements, you are encouraged to:
The OACP uploads your completed Advance Care Planning documents to your Queensland Health electronic hospital record. This ensures your GP, Queensland Ambulance Services, hospital and residential aged care facilities have access to these documents.
Send your documents via:
Fax: 1300 008 227
Post: PO Box 2274, Runcorn Qld 4113
The OACP will review your documents and if they are incomplete or any changes are needed, they will let you know via email.
As circumstances can change, you may want to update your documents and forms. Your Advance Care Planning documents should be reviewed: