Advanced Care Directive
What is an Advance Care Directive?
An Advance Care Directive is a written record of your preferences for future care. Having an Advance Care Directive means that, prior to developing or suffering an illness or injury which may impair your decision-making capacity, you can choose one or more Substitute Decision-Makers and provide them with directions about the medical and lifestyle decisions you want them to make for you. It cannot be used to make financial decisions.
When will it be used?
The Substitute Decision-Maker can only act on your behalf if you are not capable of making your own decisions, whether temporarily or permanently, and must always protect your interests.
Do I need an Advance Care Directive?
It is your choice whether or not to write an Advance Care Directive – you cannot be forced to have one, or include things you do not want. Please note that nursing homes and hospitals sometimes request that you have one.
Can I change my Advance Care Directive?
You can change your Advance Care Directive at any time whilst you are still able. This is done by completing a new Advance Care Directive.
Who can be my Substitute Decision-Maker?
You choose who you wish to be your Substitute Decision-Maker. If you are married, it is usual to appoint your spouse. It is also common to appoint an adult child or children if your spouse cannot act for you, or in addition to your spouse. Due to the nature of the decisions your Substitute Decision-Maker may be making for you, only a trusted person should be appointed to carry out your wishes.