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Advance Care Planning

Death is an important part of life.

So like any other significant life event, it’s well worth your consideration and a little forward planning.

This process is called advance care planning.

Advance care planning is the process of discussing and documenting your future health care wishes, values and priorities. It enables your family, friends, carers and health professionals to understand what you want, should you become so unwell that you are unable to speak for yourself.

More than 80% of Australians think it’s important to put our end-of-life care preferences into writing, but less than 5% of us have completed an advance care plan.

Where to I start with advance care planning?

Before you start any conversations we recommend you gather your thoughts on things like

  • What kind of care would you prefer or find unacceptable?
  • Would you want to be revived if your heart or breathing stops?
  • Where would you prefer to be cared for?
  • Is there anything special you would want to have with you?

There are some great tips on how to identify the things most important to you on the Dying to Talk website.

What is involved?

It is important to allow adequate time for advance care planning, as you will need to reflect on what is important to you, discuss it with your doctor and people close to you, and document it.

There are many components of advance care planning, which all help to make sure your wishes are known. The process can be ongoing, as your opinions, wishes and circumstances may change.

In 2019 we developed a specialised website on advance care planning, called You only die once. The site supported an extremely successful television, radio and social media campaign to increase community awareness of advance care planning. This useful website outlines all the components of advance care planning shown the diagram below and includes a resources hub which lists links for you to find out more information, access advice and download all the relevant forms.

Advance Care Planning components diagram


Want to learn more and make a start on advance care planning?

Come along to one of Palliative Care WA’s Advance Care Planning Community Workshops or book one for your community group or organisation.

To talk to us about advance care planning you can also call our Palliative Care Information and Support Line on 1800 573 299.

Health professionals and aged care workers can access information, guidance and resources to support advance care planning through ELDAC (End of Life Directions for Aged Care).


Search our directory of services to find specialist care providers near you.

For more information, see our resources or contact us.

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