Tough Talk: Australians urged to plan for end of life care

16 April 2018

Australia’s inaugural Advance Care Planning Week begins on 16 April, encouraging people of all ages to prepare their personal end of life care plans, to give certainty to themselves and their families.

Joint Media Release; The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP (Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Indigenous Health, Member for Hasluck)
Julia Banks MP (Member for Chisholm)

Australia’s inaugural Advance Care Planning Week begins today, encouraging people of all ages to prepare their personal end of life care plans, to give certainty to themselves and their families.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM said the Turnbull Government understood the rapidly growing importance of Advance Care Planning and was supporting Austin Health with $4.1 million to run a three-year awareness and commitment program.

'Research shows that around half of us will be incapable of making our own medical decisions as we approach the end of our lives,' Minister Wyatt said.

'Despite this, less than 15% of Australians have recorded an Advance Care Plan.'

'dvance 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.'

Across the nation during the next seven days, more than 100 events will be held to encourage Australians to discuss their future health care preferences with their loved ones.

Member for Chisholm, Julia Banks, joined Minister Wyatt at the opening event.

'In Victoria, more than 30 events are scheduled including here at Box Hill Hospital in my electorate of Chisholm,' Ms Banks said.

'Getting the message out is crucial, because studies show that having care plans can reduce the anxiety, depression and stress experienced by families, and that they are more likely to be satisfied with their loved one’s care.'

At the Box Hill awareness event, widow Mary Reynolds detailed how an Advance Care Plan had given her more peace of mind as her middle aged husband approached his final days.

'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,' Minister Wyatt said.

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

Minister Wyatt also released Australia’s first Advance Care Planning in Aged Care guide, an updated resource to help aged care residents, their families and aged care 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.

For more information on how to prepare an Advance Care Plan or to look up an awareness event near you, visit the Advance Care Planning Australia website or call the free advisory service on 1300 208 582

Source: (Accessed 16.04.18)

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