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5.4 Talk to your family about your future wishes

Talking to your family means that they know what your future wishes are

Having a will, enduring power of attorney, and enduring guardianship documents in place, means that your wishes will be undertaken in the future.

Many people find it uncomfortable thinking about a future situation when they are very disabled or dying. Because of this they do not talk with their family about what they want to happen in those circumstances. This means that something might happen which is opposite to that person’s preferences (e.g. the person making the decisions isn’t the one you’d prefer). Or their family has to make a very difficult decision without knowing their preference, (e.g. do doctors perform CPR if the person is bedbound and can no longer speak?​).

Talking to your family means that they know what your future wishes are. You might also find out what their thoughts and feelings around the circumstances when you can’t make decisions or are dying. Many people take the needs and wishes of their family into consideration as part of their plans. This conversation (or conversations) can be really hard, but it’s important to have them now.

Dementia Australia has a comprehensive workbook to help you in all aspects of planning ahead.


Talk to family and friends

Discuss what you want if you are no longer able to make decisions, and for when you pass away.

Contact Relationships Australia if you need assistance with preventing or resolving family conflict, having difficult conversations, or planning for the future (including medical, health, financial and living arrangements).