Advanced Care Planning Week Australia

"The time is now to talk about what matters most to you: if you could no longer communicate or make your own health care decisions, have you considered who you want to speak on your behalf?" Unfortunately, more than half of people are unable to answer this question.

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Sponsored by the Department of Health & Aged Care, the National Advance Care Planning Week is a great time to discuss advance care planning with your family and loved ones. Together, let's build awareness during the National Advance Care Planning Week between 20-26 March.

Advanced Care Planning (ACP) gives you the opportunity to consider, discuss and record your preferences for the type of care you like to receive and the outcomes you would consider acceptable if you were to become seriously ill. In fact, planning is for everyone, and preparation is vital. Everyone should consider advanced care planning, regardless of age or health. Therefore, let's take this opportunity to consider who you want to speak for you in case you are unable to communicate your wishes.

On the Local level, Chung Wah Community Care (Chung Wah CC) greatly supports the promotion of ACP. Although death is an inevitable end to an individual's life journey, societal reluctance exists to discuss dying and death. Therefore, we invited Dr Ruth Wei from Murdoch University to provide educational information at the Willetton and Balcatta Hub. Dr Wei patiently elaborates on the importance of ACP individually and in group settings. Connecting with seniors at the workshops and understanding their worries and concerns has enabled Dr Wei to help them view such topics positively.

Technology is transforming healthcare in a big way and can prolong the dying process, such as artificial ventilation or dialysis. Still, aggressive treatments can bring negative emotional impacts to patients while misplacing their dignity and quality of life. So legal protections are in place for patients to ensure their wishes are granted to foster dignity and age gracefully.

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Dr Wei introduced the ACP plan to seniors, including the following four steps: plan ahead, communicate with others, record advance care directives, and share wishes. Although Advance Care Planning is not an easy topic to discuss, Dr Wei shared her opinions and expertise and provided tremendous compassion and support to the participants.

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Chung Wah has been servicing the WA community since 1909, dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Moreover, Chung Wah CC has over 35 years of professional care experience helping seniors and people with disability improve their well-being and better integrate into the community. In 2023, we're promoting our theme, Embrace, Elevate & Flourish, and build a better community for all.

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