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Planning Ahead

Most carers focus on the here and now of caring and it can be hard to find time to make emergency and long term plans or to make sure that your expertise is passed on to people who can cover for you.

Emergency Planning

Making an emergency plan gives you and the person you care for the reassurance that there will be somebody to step in when they are needed and that they will have instructions to guide them.


Download an ‘Emergency Care Plan


Your Emergency Care Plan lists contact details of the people who have agreed to give emergency support to the person you care for. It also includes instructions on the type of care they may need to provide:

Think about the best people to stand in for your caring responsibilities and ask if they are prepared to act as emergency contacts.

It is important that your emergency contacts accept the level of commitment they are taking on and that they understand and are comfortable with the types of tasks they might need to perform.

Fill in the plan. It includes health information about the person you care for, their medications, the care they need, and a list of regular support services they receive. There is also room to record the expectations you have for the person who steps into the caring role.

Give a copy of your plan to each of your emergency contacts. Go through it with them and make sure they understand what is required.

Keep the original in a safe but visible place. Update your plan every year or sooner if there are significant changes to your caring situation.


Download a Medi List Form


Carers are often responsible for managing the medications of the person they care for. This template can help you list all the medications regularly taken by the person you care for. It includes space for your doctor and pharmacist to record information that you need to know about each medicine.

See also Emergency Respite

Enduring Powers of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a trusted person, the legal authority to act for you, and to make legally binding decisions on your behalf.

In the ACT, there are three different enduring powers.They cover different types of decision-making and need to be made separately:

The Public Trustee & Guardian for the Australian Capital Territory provide permanent and secure Trustee, Guardianship and Administration services to the ACT.  For more detailed information about Power of Attorney, visit their website.

The ACT Public Advocate can be appointed as a Guardian to act as substitute decision maker for people who lack legal capacity to make decisions on their own behalf.

Find out more

ACT Public Trustee and Guardian

NSW Trustee and Guardian

See also Advocacy/Representing Your View

Advanced Care Planning

Advance care planning helps to ensure that your loved ones and your doctors know what your health and personal preferences really are. That can give everyone some peace of mind.

Anyone can start and promote conversations about a person’s preferences for their future health and personal care. If a person ever becomes seriously ill or injured and cannot make or communicate their own decisions, an advance care plan makes sure that their beliefs, values and preferences for treatment are understood and respected. The plan only comes into effect when a person loses the ability to make decisions or express their choices.

An advance care plan can simply be a conversation or it can be written down. A written care plan is the best way to make sure that a person’s preferences will be respected.

As a part of their advance care plan, a person can choose a “substitute decision-maker”, who would make decisions for the person if they were not able to communicate. If you have to make a decision for another person, the best way to approach this is to try to make the decision the person themselves would have made if they had been able to. This means “standing in the shoes” of the person – seeing the choices to be made from the perspective they would have had. We’re here to help you learn how to make your preferences known or support others.


Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) is a national program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, providing an extensive range of resources to assist people to plan for their future care.


ACT Public Advocate  The role of the Public Advocate is to protect and promote the rights and interests of anyone in the ACT who is experiencing vulnerability.

Advance Care Planning Australia is a national program that provides information and resources to individuals, care workers and healthcare professionals to improve care planning cooperation.

Make Your Own Will online through the ACT Public Trustee and Guardian

Legal Advice Bureau  If you have a legal problem and you don’t know what to do, why not make an appointment to discuss it free of charge with a member of the Law Society.

Legal Aid ACT  Helps people in the ACT with their legal problems, especially people who are socially or economically disadvantaged.

Consumer Law Centre  a free, independent, community legal centre funded by the ACT Government, to help people on a low to moderate income who are experiencing financial difficulties.