Aged care providers can now order copies of a new guide, which offers comprehensive information on advance care planning specific to the aged care sector from engaging with patients and families, policies and procedures and legal aspects relevant to each state and territory.

The publication, Advance care planning in aged care: A guide to support implementation in community and residential settings was developed in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI).

The guide was developed using findings from a literature review, a national survey of community and residential aged care providers, consultation with community and residential aged care staff from four states, and consultations with older people, as well as existing resources produced by Advance Care Planning Australia.

“Until now there have been limited practical, evidence-based resources for the aged care sector to confidently support patients and families with advance care planning. This new guide will hopefully fill this gap,” said Dr Karen Detering, Medical Director for Advance Care Planning Australia.

Dr Frances Batchelor, NARI Director of Clinical Gerontology, said, “Although biomedical advances enable humans to live longer, the quality of life and end-of-life care is an issue that is rarely addressed in older people nearing the end-of-life.”

“Advance care planning gives older people the opportunity to discuss and determine their preferences for medical treatment if and when they are incapacitated. It also helps ensure that time and resources are not wasted on unwanted treatment options, and reduces the emotional distress of families at a stressful period,” she said.

The guide was officially launched by Ken Wyatt MP, Minister for Aged Care at the launch of Advance Care Planning Week in Melbourne last month.

Copies of the guide are available for Australian aged care providers to order online.