Advance care planning in residential aged care facilities

Contemp Nurse. 2007 Dec;27(1):141-51. doi: 10.5555/conu.2007.27.1.141.


A person's right to self-determination in health care is now a fundamental principle of health care provision. As a consequence Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a critical issue in health care including palliative care as it is seen as a way of ensuring a person's right to participate not only in future health care choices but in end of life decision making. To date there have been few reports of successful ACP programs. In 2004 and 2005 a program of advance care planning, known as Respecting Patient Choices was introduced in 17 residential aged care facilities in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. This program consisted of a system-wide approach that included education for aged care staff; information for residents and families as well as changes to organisational processes to ensure that residents have opportunity for self-determination in their future health care. This paper will report on the lessons learnt from this implementation and identify strategies which foster sustainability of ACP.

MeSH terms

  • Homes for the Aged / organization & administration*
  • Medical Records
  • Planning Techniques*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Queensland