Advance Care Planning

Have your say now...because one day someone else may have to make medical decisions for you. 

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance care planning is the process of developing plans for your health and personal care that respect your values, beliefs, and preferences.

Advance care planning involves conversations with your family and loved ones, and your health professionals. In NSW it is recommended you appoint an Enduring Guardian and complete an Advance Care Directive.

What is an Advance Care Directive?

An Advance Care Directive is sometimes called a living will. It is the formal outcome of your advance care planning conversations.

From Advance Care Planning Australia, in NSW, a person with decision-making capacity can:

  • Appoint a substitute decision-maker.
  • Complete an instructional and/or values non-statutory Advance Care Directive.
  • Make medical treatment decisions.

An Advance Care Directive and the role of the substitute decision-maker comes into effect only when the person loses decision-making capacity.

How do I start my own advance care planning?

Start by having a conversation with your family and loved ones. You can also talk to your GP. These conversations may not be easy, but it's better to plan for the end and live for now.

There are several resources that can assist you: 

  • National Advance Care Planning Support Service TM: If you would prefer to speak to someone in person, you can call 1300 208 582. They’re available 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding Victorian public holidays).
  • NSW Trustee & Guardian: Information on appointing an Enduring Guardian – a person you legally appoint to make decisions about your health and lifestyle in the event you cannot make these decisions for yourself.
  • NSW Health Advance Care Directive: Download an Advance Care Directive form to complete and an Information Booklet to help you complete your Advance Care Directive.
  • Advance Care Planning Australia: A national program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, and administered by Austin Health, the website provides a wealth of resources on advance care planning.
  • Groundswell Project: Works with individuals, organisations and communities to improve how people in Australia die, care and grieve. Their ‘Dying to Know Day’ campaign is 8 August each year.
  • NSW Health Advance Care Planning: Information about advance care planning for patients, families and carers from NSW Health.
  • My Health Record: Information on how to upload your advance care planning documents to your My Health Record.

End of Life Care