Planning ahead for people with a Diagnosis of Dementia including advance care planning and why it is important
General practitioner Dr Dimity Pond, who practices in the Sydney North Primary Health Network talks about planning ahead and what types of planning are important. This message is supported by carers who speak about their experiences and how planning ahead was important to them when caring for loved ones with dementia.
The Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP) believes that advance care planning should be incorporated into routine general practice and it has published a Position Statement on the issue. More information.
GPs often have a long-term relationship with their patients, including those with serious chronic disease and life-limiting illness such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. As a GP, you can play a vital role in helping your patients to understand their medical condition and to plan for the future, including possible choices they may have to make about their future healthcare.
GPs may be hesitant to discuss advance care planning. But one way to raise the subject is to introduce a simple approach to advance care planning into the general routines of patient management. Part of this approach may be to use practice nurses to allocate time with patients to help them go through an advance care planning process. Another aspect is to routinely include advance care planning in all Over-75 Health Checks and all Comprehensive Medical Assessments done in aged care facilities.
For more information and training options available, click here.