13th Apr 2018

Australians urged to plan for end-of-life care

The need to plan end-of-life care
Ben Hocking

This week is Advance Care Planning Week, encouraging people of all ages to prepare their personal end-of-life care plans, to give certainty to themselves and their families.

Statistics show that while we prepare for death, we are actually far less prepared for dying.

More than half of Australians have a will (59 per cent) to determine how their property will be divided after they die, and 30 per cent have appointed a power of attorney to make financial decisions if they lose the capacity to do so.

But research published in the Internal Medicine Journal shows few Australians have drawn up plans for the treatment they want – or don’t want – at the end of life.

Even though contemplating our own end of life can be a bit confronting, thinking about it ahead of time and carrying out advance care planning can be beneficial for you, your loved ones and your healthcare team.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said it was an important issue for older Australians to address.

“Less than 15 per cent of Australians have recorded an advance care plan,” Mr Wyatt said.

“Advance care planning promotes dignity and care that is consistent with a person’s goals, values, beliefs and preferences and can help ensure they receive the right type of treatment at the right time.

“One-third of Australians will die before the age of 75, and 85 per cent of us pass away after a chronic illness, not a sudden event,” Mr Wyatt said.

“So, regardless of our age or current health status, talking about and preparing a plan sooner rather than later is important.”

Mr Wyatt also released Australia’s first Advance Care Planning in Aged Care guide, an updated resource to help aged care residents, their families and service providers better support individual choices in their health care.

In recognition of how difficult this topic is for some people and their families, Advance Care Planning Australia has developed a range of conversation starters, quizzes and activities to help get people talking.

Have you spoken about an advanced care plan with members of your family? How did you raise the topic? Was it an easy conversation?


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17th Apr 2018
That bulk buy of A grade Monkey Glands I made in the 70s is paying off ;) I'm good for another 40 plus years, at least !! Also, obtaining and utilising a great Sense Of Humour will have me dying laughing !!................*"Tell him, he's dreaming"
Old Man
17th Apr 2018
We have made wills which we hope our children will accept. We have prepaid our funerals so there should be no misunderstanding about the way we want our last journey to be conducted. On top of that, we are trying to save our children from the worry of how to spend their inheritance by going on SKI trips while we are still fit enough and sensible enough to enjoy them. Our legacy to our children was supporting them with their choices of education and trying to give them a healthy, safe and interesting start before they made their own way in the world.
18th Apr 2018
Wise Old Man :)
Old Geezer
17th Apr 2018
Advance Care planning is useless as doctors will do what they want to do no matter what is written or said by any one else.
17th Apr 2018
Alas Cynical Old Geezer, there are three things of note here:
1) you appear to have chosen the wrong doctors, and
2) maybe you might have a written plan, just in case, and
3) maybe you are just an old geezer whom nobody would take any notice of anyway; dunno, never met you, nor likely to. Might be the way you present your case...

NOTE all opinions are initially of equal value and should be expressed without hesitation. Judgement of value by others will follow, of course. But they might all be wrong, except for you.
17th Apr 2018
Sorry Old Geezer, I think that you are off the mark in thinking that doctors will go against an Advanced Health Directive. I have had experience with my Dad's AHD at his end of life - he died in June 2016 aged 90. All doctors and nurses did exactly as he wanted, although they didn't agree with it.

In Queensland there is the Office of the Public Guardian and if family members are concerned that the wishes of the sick person are not being adhered with, they will become involved.
17th Apr 2018
In regard to advanced aged people. The issue of trust is going to be an increasing problem for the aging population and their finances especially. Almost like there needs to be a govt agency even if they take say 10% for their costs, Any suggestions ? One doesnt come to mind. Power of attorney doesnt insure against fin abuse.

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