Start 2023 with a plan for the end 

A new year brings new energy, new perspectives, and a new focus in life and what is important to us.   

Early in 2022 we surveyed Australia and found that around 90% of people believe it is important to think about and plan for the end of their life before a serious illness or accident. Despite that high number, only 4 in 10 Australians have done anything about it.  

Yes, it can be a hard thing to consider, but putting it off can complicate your end of life journey or deny you and your family quality time together. 

Before life gets busy again, make time to consider your wishes and record your preferences for the type of health care you would like to receive and the life outcomes you would consider acceptable.  

This sort of planning helps ensure your loved ones and health providers know what matters most to you and empowers them to respect your choices. 

It’s a process known as Advance Care Planning and results in your preferences being documented in a plan.  

Families and people who have engaged in this process have less anxiety, less depression and stress and are more satisfied with the care received. 

This is not something you need to do on your own, advance care planning is best done as a team effort, through conversations with your family, friends, doctors, care workers and other health professionals. Having these conversations will help everyone better understand what's important to you. 

With families and friends together for summer holidays, now is the perfect opportunity to start the conversation - whether it’s around the dinner table, in the slips during backyard cricket, during a game of Scrabble, or bobbing up and down in an inner tube on the water. 

To help, PCA has a series of conversation starters that can be downloaded from the PCA website.  

They will help get you going, remember there are no wrong answers, each conversation is as unique as the people involved. 

Our partners at Advance Care Planning Australia also have tools that can help you formalise the conversation you start. 

Making an advance care plan is a strong way to start 2023. 

Camilla Rowland 

Chief Executive Officer 

Palliative Care Australia 

Tuesday, 20 December 2022