Advance Care Planning for Older Adults at the End of Life
Good and timely advance care planning (ACP) is widely regarded as fundamental to avoiding futile, costly and invasive treatment to enable death in the preferred place of care and, in doing so, avoid 'over-medicalising' what is a natural phase of the aging life course. ACP has become increasingly important as a means of improving care for people with a life-limiting illness and a key component of end-of-life care policy in many countries of the developed world. ACP has developed within a particular cultural and professional ideology. Meeting individual 'cultural' needs forms only part of the picture but can, nonetheless, inform the delivery of end-of-life care. ACP is now well established on the professional agenda in developed countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and much of Europe. ACP requires healthcare staff with excellent communication skills to facilitate these conversations should they arise as a means of achieving a 'good death'.