We may talk about the ExSitu care plan a lot around here – but now it’s time to really crack open the hood!
Let’s walk you through the sort of information you can store in an ExSitu care plan.
Why choose an ExSitu care plan?
The first thing you’ll notice about an ExSitu care plan is you’re guided through a series of questions. Those questions are often fairly simple yet robust prompts to get you thinking about your future needs.
You can use an ExSitu care plan to:
- Sort out your aged care plan needs if you are starting to receive services and/or are making a move to an aged care facility
- Plan out your advance care plan, a document that, along with your advance care directive, speaks for you at end-of-life to make sure you can outline when treatment begins and ends, and die with dignity
- Define your disability care and/or mental health care. You can use an ExSitu care plan to help you consider your future impacts and disability maintenance, as a pre-cursor to NDIA or NDIS planning, or to demonstrate to formal and informal carers alike what your disability care expectations are
- Set goals, define self-care and health care as you age and/or as part of a focus on your overall self-care strategy
- Reduce risk and build a contingency plan against illness or injury. For example, if you know you have an illness or disease that leads to high impacts on your autonomy, independence and dignity such as MS, Parkinson’s or mental illness. Or if you work or volunteer in a field that has higher risk of injury such as the defence forces or emergency and/or disaster management personnel like firefighters or SES volunteers.
Our care plans are designed to prompt you to consider situations where you might not be able to make decisions, speak for yourself, or participate fully in designing your future care. They also provide you the space to set goals and focus on what matters. All while giving priority and weight to decisions that might need to be made on your behalf that extend beyond the big headline decisions loved ones, medical professionals or lawyers make.
How do you fill in a care plan?
We’ve designed the ExSitu care plan for you to download it, fill it in and send it to people you want to know your care wishes.
It also prompts you to think about situations that we’ve seen people face as they age and/or as plan for their healthcare, psychological and social needs.
If you have strong opinions about your care, there is space for you to say it. You can outline what treatment you will and won’t receive if you become ill, disabled or injured. You can share who you want to look after you. And who you don’t want to see at the end of that bed pan or sponge bath.
Considering it’s your care plan, you can be as exacting as you want to be.
And you can also be super brief and/or give licence to the people supporting you.
What kinds of decisions does an ExSitu care plan make for me?
Your ExSitu care plan allows you to:
- List the people who will be helping you – and who you trust to make choices on your behalf
- Share where all your medical and end-of-life documents are stored
- Outline what treatment options and medical supports you would make use of. As well as outlining in clear terms what medical interventions are a bridge too far for you
- You can nominate what happens to you after you die in terms of your funeral, organ donation, and what you’d like done with your remains
- Set up priorities in terms of decision-making and care via the ExSitu care plan in concert with the Hierarchy of Values.
You can also add additional information that matters to you from a medical, healthcare, mental health and overall care perspective.
Beyond the practical life administration, what does a care plan get me?
The bones of the ExSitu care plan may be to articulate your care needs, but we’ve also found going through the process of putting it together has surprising benefits.
Writing an ExSitu care plan can help get over the stigma or reticence you might have about ageing or death. Many of the people we work with see parallels between the care plan process with other areas of life that require a deeper level of consideration, such as marriage, planning for their kid’s future or buying a house. By filling out a care plan, you can start to see ageing and end-of-life planning as yet another part of a healthy, independent and autonomous life.
It can spark conversation about your healthcare, mental health, aged care and end-of-life care wishes with the people you want involved. The physical act of asking for assistance to plan your care wishes and/or sharing it with them after completion gives you something tangible to talk about. And that is really beneficial to anyone struggling to find the right words to start the ageing and end-of-life conversation.
Plus, it normalises getting organised about the later stages of life. An ExSitu care plan is a solid foundation for other planning work. Once you have your care plan in place, it becomes easier to see the role other planning provides in giving you choice and freedom across your estate and financial planning, organising your funeral, cessation of business plan, guardianship of children and pets, and more.
And most of all, a care plan means your individuality and wishes are respected. It’s your words that define what matters and how things should happen. This information stops placing the weight of making complex decisions on your family. It also makes sure that anyone who may have conflicting views to yours doesn’t get the final say. Plus, it reflects your values. So, even situations and questions arise you haven’t specifically addressed, the ExSitu care plan is designed with your values as it’s foundation. That way, decisions reflect who you are in a way that protects you from invasive, costly and undignified treatment, medical or otherwise.