Advance care planning

It can be a good idea to plan for your future medical care, and to discuss your wishes with your family, friends and health care team. This process is called advance care planning, and it can be started at any stage. It enables you to outline your future wishes for health care if you become unable to communicate later.

Advance care planning doesn’t mean that you have given up or will die soon – many people review their wishes from time to time.

Studies conducted in a range of health care settings suggest that advance care planning can improve individual and family satisfaction with care, reduce the number of people transferred from nursing homes to hospitals, and reduce stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives.

As part of your advance care planning, you may appoint a substitute decision-maker or record your wishes in an advance care directive. You can make the advance care documents as simple or as detailed as you like.

If you have religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that may affect your health care decisions, you can record these in your advance care documents. You need to be an adult and have capacity to complete advance care documents.

Each state or territory has different laws about advance care directives and substitute decision-makers. To find out more, visit palliativecare.org.au/advance-care-planning or Advance Care Planning Australia.


Steps to advance care planning

Talk to others

Talk to your family, close friends and carers about what you want or don’t want if you are unable to make your own medical decisions.

Use Palliative Care Australia’s discussion starter to reflect on your preferences and discuss these with family and friends. Visit dyingtotalk.org.au/discussion-starter.

Record your wishes

Record your wishes in an advance care planning document. Include the following details:

  • The names and contact details of people who can speak on your behalf if you are unable to. This person is known as your substitute decision-maker.
  • A description of the care that would and would not be acceptable to you.
  • An outline of treatments or services that you do or do not want.
  • A signature and date. Have the document witnessed.

Make copies

Make copies of your advance care documents and share them with your GP, oncologist, substitute decision-maker, solicitor and a family member or friend.

  • Ask your doctor or hospital to place the plan on your medical record. You can save it online at myhealthrecord.gov.au.
  • Review the documents regularly and update them whenever your wishes change.

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Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in December 2016
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