A Touchstone Life Care (TLC) Advance Care Plan enables you to make your end-of-life healthcare choices clear to your doctors and family. That spares you from getting unwanted medical treatment, delayed treatment or not getting treatment you are entitled to if you want it. It helps your family navigate a difficult time without conflict.
Our digital advance care plan guides you through a series of questions so you can customise your end-of-life wishes.
We’ve designed our plans so you can get started within a few clicks.
You can lose the ability to speak for yourself because of advanced dementia, illness, accident, stroke, or the process of dying itself.
An Advance Care Plan helps to ensure any treatment you receive respects your personal beliefs and wishes in regards to sustaining your life. It consists of two key elements:
It is important to take the time to discuss the details of the plan with your family, doctors and any trusted advisors that may be involved in your future care.
For example, you may definitely want pain relief but not wish to be resuscitated, preferring to allow natural death to occur.
You may want the full gamut of treatment in some cases but not if it’s going to leave you in a persistent vegetative state or with significant brain or spinal damage that means your quality of life plummets.
It is also vital that you ensure anyone named as a substitute decision maker understands what is involved and agrees to be one.
Helps you access faster, better treatment in an emergency.
Gives you a sense of control over the way your life draws to a close.
Provides certainty that your end of life wishes will be heard.
Protects you against unwanted medical treatment by making your wishes known to your doctors.
Spares your family members from the pressure of making difficult decisions or the conflict that can arise when opinions differ.
Want to speak with a family member first?
We understand that preparing your Advance Care Plan is a bit like writing a will or doing your taxes – you know it’s necessary but you keep putting it off!
A 2017 study showed only 48% of people over 65 in residential aged care had an advance care directive and only 16% of those in hospital had one.
Life doesn’t always wait for you to be ready, though. Medical emergencies can happen quite unexpectedly so it’s important to be prepared.
To help you get started, we’ve made the process of creating your Advance Care Plan as easy as possible for you.
They love you. You can’t spare them the pain of loss – that’s an inevitable, healthy part of loving someone. But you can spare them the pain of seeing you receive care they don’t think you’d want or from arguing with one another or your doctors about what would be best for you.
Only 7.6% of people with malignant cancer have a statutory advance care directive outlining their preferences for care.
Having a Touchstone Life Care Advance Care Plan, means you have clearly articulated your wishes so that everyone involved knows what matters to you.
You’ve named substitute decision makers and given them authority to decide on treatment that’s in accordance with your plan.
You’ve protected your loved ones from the stress of working out what you would want when you can no longer speak for yourself.
And you’ve protected yourself from being put in a situation you would never have chosen.
If you don’t yet have an Advance Care Plan, it’s time to get one.
Without an Advance Care Plan, you leave some of the most important choices of your life in other people’s hands. You’re immensely vulnerable.
Your medical team may want to save your life and administer interventions you would not have wanted and which, arguably, prolong your suffering.
Or there may be conflict and therefore delay about giving you treatment which you did want.
Your family might not know what to do either. One of your children might think everything that can be done should be done, while the other might think it’s better to spare you further trauma. After all you’ve done to create a strong family, you could end up unintentionally leaving a legacy of conflict, on top of grief.
Elsie was a keen tennis player in her youth then became a teacher. She had a happy marriage, raised 3 wonderful children and was widowed a few years ago. Now in her late 80s, she’s recovered from one heart attack but feels she’s had a good life and privately acknowledges that she’s ‘ready to go’ when her time comes.
She doesn’t have an Advance Care Plan, though. So, when she has her second heart attack, her carers call the ambulance. When she goes into cardiac arrest, the paramedics perform CPR and, as often happens, her ribs are cracked by the force required. She’s placed in intensive care. A breathing tube has to be inserted because she can’t breathe alone (her ribs really hurt now). Later tests show that she may have experienced some brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.
Elsie slips in and out of consciousness over the next few days, occasionally overhearing heated arguments among her children about what should be done for her. She’s sad to hear them fighting about her instead of comforting each other.
The trauma of the heart attack and the response to it eventually claim Elsie’s life. She dies in hospital.
The treatment Elsie received has been of little benefit to her. Her children are usually close to each other, but it takes a while before they can talk about this time without stirring up tension.
It didn’t need to be this way.
If Elsie had had an Advance Care Plan in place, everyone would have known her wishes. She could have received pain relief and comfort care after her heart attack, if she had gone into cardiac arrest, she would not have endured CPR. Instead, her doctors and family would have respected her clear wishes, not resuscitated her, and let this moment of natural death occur.
Yes of course. The link to each State’s form you can find below.
They are very useful if you like to print and write out your plan manually. Please make sure you work your way through the whole form and do not leave it unfinished. This creates problems for both your doctors and your family and can lead to unnecessary suffering. Also make sure you photocopy several copies, write the date clearly and mail all pages, and/or scan and email to everyone who will need a copy. You’ll need to repeat this process every time you need to make any changes to your plan and every 12 months. Don’t forget to ask your family to delete or throw out the old outdated copies of your plan when you make changes. You’ll also need to make sure they know where there will be a copy of your most recent plan available, wherever you are, even in the middle of the night, in an emergency.
Since paper based Advance Care Plans were created, health and aged care Providers have moved on to digital systems for ease and efficency. TLC provides a solution that works with these systems so your Advance Care Plan can be on your phone, on your carer’s iPad, on your GP’s computer screen, in your hospital notes and on a QR code for your ambulance officer to scan, without you, your family or your carer needing to go through all the paper work.
Here are all of the state based paper forms:
Touchstone Life Care’s Advance Care Plan has been designed with 2 key audiences in mind: you and your doctors.
It helps you identify and explain your values and preferences for care through a guided conversation that starts with gentle questions and builds up to the trickier ones.
Once you’ve completed your Plan, the program rearranges the layout to present the most crucial medical information on the front page so your doctors can quickly find out what you want in an emergency.
With Touchstone Life Care, you benefit from:
|Secure peace of mind that your wishes are captured||Feeling confident that you’ve covered everything||Faster and better treatment in an emergency||Avoiding suffering and pain from treatment you don’t want||Knowing you’ve cared for your family to the very end|
Your Advance Care Plan must be considered by health professionals making decisions about your end of life care and is:
Touchstone Life Care covers all essential decisions.
You can’t input conflicting information into the system.
Your wishes will be clear to those who need to act on your behalf.
Easy access to your digital Advance Care Plan means faster access to pain relief.
No time wasted trying to find your paperwork.
The vital information is presented on the first page – no time wasted flicking through a long, confusing document to find out what you would want.
|Carers, emergency services and doctors can access your plan via a QR Code in your home 24/7 and provide treatment that’s in line with your stated wishes.||Your Advance Care Plan spares your family from having to make quick decisions under stress, which often leads to doubt, conflict and guilt.|
Yes, under the Aged Care Quality Standard 2(3)(b) you can claim for cost of your Touchstone Life Care Advance Care Plan from your Home Care Package provider. Simply speak to your provider today.
‘It was a horrendous experience to go through with nothing in place to know what she would have liked to happen and no authority to make any decisions on her behalf.’
Our easy secure questionnaire can take as little as 10 minutes to complete, or as long as you and loved ones need.