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Program Officer

Jason Phillips – j.phillips@cesphn.com.au 

1300 986 991

Advanced Care Planning

What is advanced care planning?

Advance Care Planning (ACP) involves a patient thinking about and communicating to others how they would like to be treated in the future if they have a condition where they can no longer speak for themselves. This may happen, for example, as a result of stroke, progressive dementia, or becoming unconscious from some form of accident or illness.

An Advance Care Directive (ACD) is a component of an Advance Care Plan and contains information relevant to specific areas of healthcare and the values and wishes of an individual which would be expected to impact on treatment options. Numerous directives have been developed by a variety of organisations to meet the needs of our diverse population. Indeed, any written and recorded statement of wishes is legally binding. Endorsement by a medical practitioner is recommended but not essential.

Why is advanced care planning important?

Undertaking ACP means that future decisions about a person’s care are more likely to reflect their wishes. ACP identifies sensitive issues and clarifies the actions an individual would prefer in certain medical situations should they occur in the future. For many reasons these topics of discussion between family, carers and GPs are often avoided.

Having an ACP means other people will not have to make decisions on a person’s behalf without an appreciation of that person’s feelings or wishes. It also reduces the likelihood of confusion and conflict regarding decisions of care between all parties involved. With an ACP in place a person can feel comfortable and reassured that there will be a common and calm approach to their care toward end-of-life.


Advance Care Directive template

Useful links that may assist decision making and planning


Carer Gateway is a national online and phone service that provides practical information and resources to support carers while the interactive service finder helps carers connect to local support services. The contact centre does not collect personal information nor assesses callers for a service.

Free call 1800 422 737 for support and advice Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

For information in other languages, click here.


What is dementia?

Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning. It is a broad term used to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning.

There are many types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and dementia with Lewy Bodies. Dementia can happen to anybody, but it is more common after the age of 65.

Key Facts and Statistics 2017

  • Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and there is no cure
  • Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in older Australians (aged 65 years or older) and the third leading cause of disability burden overall.
  • By 2025, the total cost of dementia is predicted to increase to $18.7 billion in today’s dollars, and by 2056, to over $36.8 billion, which represents a 2.6 fold increase in costs from 2016.
  • The lifestyle risk and protective factors for dementia offer very real opportunities for prevention programs that reduce the number of Australians developing dementia each year.



The abuse of older people is a globally recognised issue that is becoming more prevalent. Research suggests that as many as 50,000 older people in NSW may have experienced some form of abuse and it is estimated that only one in five cases of elder abuse is reported. The majority of alleged abusers are trusted family members, neighbours, friends or paid carers.

Click here for more information.


My Aged Care is a key feature of the Commonwealth Government’s reform of the aged care system which came about following release of the Productivity Commission Inquiry report ‘Caring for older Australians’ (2011). One of the Commission recommendations is that consumers be viewed as active partners throughout the care journey and be part of decision making processes and be provided the resources and information to do so.

My Aged Care was implemented as a National, clear entry point of access for aged care services and information. It consists of the My Aged Care website and Contact Centre 1800 200 422. Both provide information and referrals for clients and their carers to be assessed for aged care services such as domestic assistance, personal care, nursing, home maintenance and modifications as well as residential and respite care.

Video stories by consumers can be found here.

New Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources on My Aged Care

Resources specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including translated materials, can be viewed or downloaded from the My Aged Care website.

A new video for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences is also on the My Aged Care website. It provides an overview of My Aged Care, including the services available and how to access them.  View the animation and resources here.

My Aged Care CALD information can be found here.

10 Questions to Ask leaflets – a resource to assist consumers when navigating a path into residential care

As aged care continues to move into the model of consumer directed care, it is imperative that information is available to support decision making. ‘Asking the Right Questions’ can make all the difference when selecting a new home for yourself or family member.

A partnership of aged care professionals, consumers, carers and nurses has developed a series of brochures covering a range of topics such as facility staffing levels, cultural needs in residential care, availability of GP services, applicable contracts and fees and more.

These leaflets have been developed and endorsed by a variety of relevant organisations including, NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, Central and Sydney GP Network, Palliative Aged Care Network NSW, COTA NSW, Combined Pensioners & Superannuants Association, Carers Australia NSW, PICAC NSW-ACT and Country Women’s Association NSW.

Download the 10 Questions to Ask leaflets.


Palliative care addresses physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs for people with a life-limiting or terminal illness, so they can live their life as fully and comfortably as possible.


Wellness, reablement and restorative approaches are emerging as powerful ways to help older people improve their function, independence and quality of life. The following NSW Health sponsored programs are available to older people free of charge to assist improve health, functioning and wellbeing.

Exercise Classes and Health information for older adults


To find an exercise programs available in your local area that suit your needs visit the Active and Healthy website. The website is designed to provide a high-quality on-line directory of physical activity programs and evidence-based information for older people on the benefits of physical activity and ways in which you can increase your levels of physical activity and improve your strength and balance.

To search for a program in your area visit the Active and Healthy website  .

Uniting Aged Care has established Seniors Gyms for the over 65s with personalised exercise and movement programs. Contact 1800 486 484 or email homecare@uniting.org.

Falls Prevention


The Stepping On program is a falls prevention program for over 65’s that aims to reduce the incidence of falls in older people by teaching simple strength and balance exercises.The educational program promotes independence and builds confidence, with presentations by experts in their field, on topics relating to falls risk. The program is delivered over seven consecutive weeks followed by a booster session after two months. To learn more and register for the program contact your local stepping on coordinator via the below links. GPs and allied health professionals can access a referral form at these web links also.


The  Active & Healthy Website also links community members and health professionals to resources and programs that can help reduce your risk of falling. The Staying Active on your feet downloadable booklet provides consumers with information and ideas on ways to reduce their risk of falling.


NSW Ministry of Health: Wellbeing in later life – Your Guide to Programs and Activities

NSW Health has developed a guide for older persons for accessing information on state wide programs, activities and services. This is a comprehensive and highly recommended resource. To view the resource click here.

Grant opportunity: Building Community Vaccination Awareness EOI

CESPHN is offering community organisations supporting individuals living in the region an exciting opportunity to curate a program to support the needs of their communities.

Find out more
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