Department of Health and Human Services

Dementia-Friendly Environments

Advance care planning

Advance care planning enables a person to make decisions about their future health care in consultation with health care providers, family members and other important people in their lives.

A person’s wishes about death and quality of life are put into writing. This removes the burden of responsibility from others when a person is no longer able to communicate their wishes, while allowing them to retain control of the circumstances of their death Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing 2006.

  • Life issues should be discussed shortly after a person moves into a facility.
  • Ideally, a doctor should be present when these issues are discussed.
  • An interdisciplinary approach enables all team members to understand and agree with the goals set for care.
    When family members contribute to decision making around end of life care options for their loved ones, they face difficult emotions.
  • Provide family members with information about the expected course of the dementia, factors that might impede a natural death, the palliative approach and emotional support.

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Advance care planning (pdf, 72kb)