Advance care planning

When faced with a life-limiting illness, some people think about what they’d like to achieve in the time they have left. Palliative care teams are experienced with helping patients and their families talk about their goals and preferences for care, and the amount of treatment they want for the cancer. This can involve difficult discussions about balancing the quality and length of life.

This process is called advance care planning. While it may be confronting, many people also find this process empowering. It can be started at any stage, whether you are feeling well or ill. It enables you to convey your preferences for your future health care if you become unable to communicate your wishes.

It’s very useful for you and your family to think about these issues before they are raised by a health professional. What matters to you most? Might you choose to have less time if it means feeling relatively well or would you want as much time as possible even if treatment would lead to unpleasant side effects? Everyone has their own individual preferences and these can change over time.

Learn more about:

Advance care planning doesn’t mean you have given up or will die soon. Your needs might change over time and it is a good idea to regularly review your plan. Palliative Care Australia has developed a discussion starter that can help you reflect on your preferences for care and talk about them with your family, carers and close friends. See dyingtotalk.org.au/discussion-starter.

Advance care directive

You can write down your treatment wishes in what is known as an advance care directive, commonly called a “living will”. Depending on where you live, it may be known by a similar term such as advanced personal plan or advance health directive. This provides a record of your preferences for doctors, family and carers to consider if you become unable to communicate or make decisions.

You can choose to revise or cancel your advance care directive.

Ask your doctor or hospital to place your directive on your medical record. You can also save it online at myhealthrecord.gov.au.


Substitute decision-maker

You can legally appoint someone to make decisions for you if at some point in the future you’re not able to make them yourself. This can include decisions about your finances, property, medical care and lifestyle. A substitute decision-maker should be someone you trust and who understands your values and wishes for future care.

Depending on where you live, the documents for appointing this person may be known as an enduring power of attorney, enduring power of guardianship or appointment of enduring guardian.

Each state or territory has different laws about advance care planning. For more information about completing an advance care plan, call Cancer Council 13 11 20 or the Advance Care Planning Advisory Service on 1300 208 582, or visit advancecareplanning.org.au or palliativecare.org.au/advance-care-planning.

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on palliative care.


    Understanding Palliative Care

  • 735 kB

Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

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 April 2017
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