Advance care planning


Advance care planning should be offered to all of your older patients. It supports timely and appropriate decision-making about end-of-life care and helps to ensure that the Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) is aware of the patient’s wishes. 

In planning for end-of-life care:

  • Encourage interactive discussions between the patient and those close to them, while they still have decision-making capacity, including preferences for life-sustaining treatment and where the death might occur
  • Formally appoint and inform a Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) - this may be someone beyond the immediate family
  • Develop and record an advance care plan, together with their families and other health care professionals. An advance care directive is the perfect tool to document their wishes.

Advance care planning - State and Territory information

Helpful resources


Page updated 22 May 2017


palliAGED is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.