Palliative Care Queensland

Top 5 Tips for Advance Care Planning from the PCQ Team

Everyone at Palliative Care Queensland knows the importance of Advance Care Planning, so this week has been a great way for us to share our passion for the topic. We chatted with Palliative Care Wellbeing Officer, Debbie D’Urso, to discuss her ‘Top 5 Tips for Advance Care Planning’ and why it is important to her.

Debbie is well known in the palliative care space as a senior Registered Nurse with experience across a variety of setting such as public and private hospitals, general practice, education, residential care and non-Government domiciliary services. She is now working with Palliative Care Queensland and has been a great advocate for advanced care planning.

• Why is National Advance Care Planning Week important to you?

“The week is a yearly reminder to all Australians that advance care planning is important and there is a lot of help available. I also think it’s a week to celebrate all the great work being done around Australia, to encourage open discussions with loved ones about what is important to them.”

• What are your top 5 tips for people to follow in creating an Advance Care Plan?

  1. Remember it is a journey that takes time and effort, but it is worth it to have peace of mind.
  2. Explore all the resources we have shared this week and visit to the Advance Care Planning Australia and the Office of Advance Care Planning Queensland websites.
  3. Take a look at these ‘discussion starters‘, many people have shared that they have found these very beneficial to open communication with their loved ones.
  4. Ensure you record your wishes using the appropriate form eg. Statement of Choices, Enduring Power of Attorney, Advance Health Directive. Then send the completed form to the Office of Advance Care Planning.  It can then be checked and uploaded to their electronic system. This ensures that your medical team can access your documents at the point of care.
  5. Review your plan regularly as our choices can change over time.

• What message would you like to share with those who aren’t concerned about planning?

“Take a quick look at the websites above, to explore the benefits of planning. These conversations are not easy but are so valuable.  Knowing how to start talking about your wishes with your loved ones, will help you in the future.”

If you live in the Townsville Region, we have a dedicated program ‘Connecting End of Life Care’ where you can find further resources and education series to attend visit CELC Townsville | Palliative Care QLD for more information. Our goal is to provide training for the Townsville community to create resilience, understanding and capacity within the community to help care for loved ones, families and friends.

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