About planning ahead

About the Planning Ahead website resource

Who should use this site?

The website has information of relevance to:

  • people who want to prepare for the possible loss of capacity in the future, i.e. preparing for a time when they cannot make their own decisions due to injury or a condition such as dementia
  • people with early signs of memory loss or with a diagnosis of dementia
  • family carers of a person with loss of capacity because of an illness such as dementia or some other condition
  • health and community care professionals who want to promote planning ahead with the individuals or communities they work with.

Using the site to build your own plan

The website has a range of information and worksheets that you can view and print out. You will find our simple, six-step plan outlined in the section of the website titled My plans.

Using the site to help someone else plan ahead

If you are a family member, friend or carer, check out the section titled Their plans. Here, you’ll find a comprehensive range of information, examples and worksheets to help you support someone you care for to make decisions, or to help you make decisions on their behalf if they are not capable of making their own decisions.

Planning ahead in your state or territory

Regulations and forms related to planning ahead vary across the states and territories. The website has been developed to incorporate these differences in two ways. First, at different point in the website you will be asked to nominate your state or territory and the appropriate information and forms will be provided. Second, you can visit Section 3 of the website, titled Planning tools, to get the relevant information for your location.

Asking questions and telling your experience

You can do this under the section titled Your say.

Getting information as a healthcare professional

If you are a healthcare professional, visit the section titled Healthcare professionals, which hosts a suite of practical and useful information, tools and resources for you to help your patients or clients.

Guidelines for completing the advance care planning worksheets

  • You may choose to work through the questions on your own or you might want to discuss them with people close to you.
  • If you feel that some of the questions are not relevant to you, leave them for the moment and move on to other questions.
  • You may want to write your answers to the questions or use them to provide some structure to a conversation about your values and wishes.
  • You can print out and save the blank worksheets as pdf documents. You can also download them as Word documents so that you can complete them, save them to your computer and update them as necessary.

About this website resource

The development of this Planning Ahead website resource was funded in 2013 by the Dementia Australia National Quality Dementia Care Initiative with support from the J.O. & J.R. Wicking Trust and Bupa Care Services. The need for the website was identified by the Consumer Dementia Research Network within Dementia Australia. It was created because many consumers found it difficult to find information about planning ahead that was easily accessible and practical. Extensive consultations were held with consumers and professionals across Australia and these have formed the basis of this national, consumer-focused website.

A consortium of consumers, health practitioners and academics worked together to develop this website resource:

  • Dr Chris Shanley (Project Manager), Aged Care Research Unit, Liverpool Hospital, University of New South Wales
  • Jennifer Henderson, Consumer Representative
  • Kylie Sait, Consumer Representative
  • Anne Meller, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Advance Care Planning, Prince of Wales Hospital
  • Professor Colleen Cartwright, Director, ASLaRC Aged Services Unit, Southern Cross University
  • Professor Dimity Pond, Discipline of General Practice, University of Newcastle
  • Chris Hatherly, Research Manager, Dementia Australia National Office
  • Lisa Shaw, Advance Care Planning Project Officer, Hunter New England Local Health District
  • Deidre Featherstonhaugh, Director, Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care, La Trobe University
  • Brendan Moore, General Manager, Policy, Research and Information, Dementia Australia NSW
  • Professor Andrew Robinson, Professor of Aged Care Nursing, Co-Director, Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania
  • Professor Elizabeth Beattie, Professor, Aged and Dementia Care, Director, Dementia Collaborative Research Centre: Carers and Consumers, Queensland University of Technology
  • Dr Peter Saul, Senior Specialist in Intensive Care, John Hunter Hospital
  • Associate Professor Gideon Caplan, Director for Post Acute Care Services and Geriatric Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital

We would like to thank the many people who provided input to the content of the website, including staff from health and guardianship authorities in all states and territories, who verified the local information and links on the site. Also thanks to Christine Bryden and Joan Jackman from the Consumer Dementia Research Network, who reviewed material and made thoughtful contributions to the website content.

This Planning Ahead website resource was revised and additional content added in 2017 with funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre (CDPC). An expert group of professional and consumer contributed to the development of the resources, including;

  • Prof Meera Agar (Chair and Lead Investigator) Professor of Palliative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney,  Conjoint Associate Professor UNSW, Clinical Trial Director, Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research, Staff Specialist Palliative Care, SWSLHD
  • A/Prof Josephine Clayton, Staff Specialist Physician in Palliative Medicine, HammondCare, Greenwich and Royal North Shore Hospitals, Sydney, Associate Professor of Palliative Care, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney
  • Joy Cocker, ACP specialist adviser
  • Sue Field, Adjunct Fellow in Elder Law, School of Law, Western Sydney University
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Charles Sturt University
  • Imelda Gilmore, Consumer Dementia Research Network
  • Adele Kelly, Project Officer, HammondCare
  • Dr Patrick Kinsella General Practitioner, Gippsland Lakes Community Health, Victoria
  • Dr Catriona Lorang (and previously Rebecca Forbes), Designated System Based Investigator, HammondCare
  • Andrew Mills, General Manager, Marketing and Communications, Dementia Australia (NSW)
  • Natalie Ohrynowsky, Administrative assistant
  • Associate Professor Joel Rhee, General Practitioner, HammondCare Centre for Positive Ageing and Care, School of Medicine Sydney, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Conjoint Associate Professor, UNSW Medicine
  • Dr Chris Shanley, Manager, Aged Care Research Unit, Liverpool Hospital, Conjoint Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Craig Sinclair, Research Fellow, The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia
  • Jan Van Emden, Designated System Based Investigator, Helping Hand
  • Kathy Williams, Consumer Dementia Research Network
  • Gail Yapp, Project Officer, HammondCare

Generous support and contributions of time were also made by project partners HammondCare, Dementia Australia, Brightwater Care Group and Kincare. We would also like to thank our community partners Dementia Australia ACT, National Seniors Illawarra and the representatives from the Dementia Australia’s National Dementia Consumer Network including Imelda Gilmore and Kathy Williams who so generously offered their time and energy in developing these resources.

Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre