If you fear death and the mere thought or process of reading this sentence makes you squeamish, then I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but death is an inevitable part of life.
However, advanced care planning provides you with the important opportunity to communicate your preferences such as what quality of life means to you, medical outcomes that you find unacceptable, and working out who you trust to make decisions for you according to your values, not theirs.
As aged care specialists, one of our roles is to remind our clients that the earlier they plan ahead for the post-retirement years, the more options they’ll have.
Advanced care planning session
Our CEO Cassandra Kavanagh and I were fortunate enough to attend a recent information session by Anglican Care’s Nurse Practitioner, Jacqui Culver on advanced care planning. Click here for more information. We found this to be a powerful and informative presentation promoting self-empowerment and wellness-to-end strategies, and have highlighted some of the key points below.
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
— Abraham Lincoln
A tailored health care plan
A valuable piece for me was the concept of focusing on creating a tailored health care plan and reviewing this plan as often and as seriously as we review our insurances, legal or financial management plans.
Should we actively focus on this aspect and really commit to our personal health management, we would have the opportunity to optimise our intrinsic capacity* and enhance our quality of life and potentially our longevity too. This is by no measure an exclusive concept applied to the ageing, elderly, middle-aged or young, this should be a core approach with a commitment to regular ongoing reviews for both physical and mental health.
Healthy Longevity – From functional check up to Service plan
Check-up and assess
Like most of us, if you need support to reach your goals and don’t know where or how to commence, seek assistance from a suitably qualified professional. Start with a check-up and assessment and be sure to communicate your clear objective on how you wish to improve your Health and Longevity and seek advice on how to decide where to start to achieve this. Create a support network to project manage your personalised care plan tailored to your individual needs and objectives.
Acknowledging we are or will eventually move into the next phase (and perhaps the final phase) of our lives does not mean we stop living. Embrace the fact you are alive! Provide yourself with all the resources and support, then commit yourself to achieve the best and healthiest version of you.
This can be done whilst still considering and documenting your plan for the end of your life by completing an advanced health care plan. You can read here more about eight tips for living and dying well from a palliative care doctor who we can assume would have seen it all.
It is important to create your tailored health care plan and review this to achieve wellness to end strategies as discussed by Jacqui.
If you need support, then similarly you should engage assistance from suitably qualified professionals or create a support network to project manage your personalised care plan tailored to your individual needs and objectives.
Aged Care information sessions
If you are not sure where to start, get in touch with our Aged Care specialist team to point you in the right direction. We hold a number of small group information sessions throughout the year to support carers facing the increasing Aged Care needs of a family member or loved one.
* The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Intrinsic Capacity as the composite of all the physical and mental capacities that an individual can draw on