Patient Story


My family has always been close, my Mum and Dad, myself and my two sisters. Together we supported Mum over the years as she battled several health conditions, and we admired her strength, resilience, and positivity. More recently, it was chronic lung disease that was causing the most trouble for Mum. She was experiencing frequent infections, and often this caused her to be delirious. During these times we were asked by her treating health professionals if she had any wishes for her medical treatment. While we thought we knew what Mum wanted, we were not 100% sure.

We encouraged Mum to complete an Advance care directive. This was not an easy conversation to initiate with Mum, but we were given strength in knowing that her wishes would be clearly documented. We soon realised that it was one of the most important discussions to have, and it was one of the best things we did with Mum as a family in those last few months. The experience bonded us further as a family, and assisted us to face the reality of what was eventuating. I think Mum was relieved to know her wishes were clear and that they would guide us when she was not capable of expressing her choices. Mum would have felt happy knowing that she was making it easier for us.

Mum’s last admission to hospital with pneumonia was really distressing for us all. It was hard to accept that this time she was not improving. As difficult as this time was for us as a family, the fact that Mum had already completed an Advance care directive somehow made it a little easier. We knew what Mum wanted in terms of medical treatment, and so we could focus on being in the moment with her, which was the most precious time for us. There was something comforting about Mum’s Advance care directive – it was her wishes, in her handwriting, guiding us through those difficult days.


Here are some Advance Care Planning videos you can watch: