Introduction to My Choices, A-Z indexes, and Worksheets
Making decisions is a part of everyday life. This includes making difficult choices such as: ‘What job will I take?’, ‘Will I marry?’, ‘Will we have children?’, ‘When should I retire?’, ‘How do I want to spend my final days?’, ‘How do I want to be cared for?’ What would happen if you became suddenly ill and could no longer communicate with your family? Would they know how you prefer to be cared for? Would someone know where your important paperwork is? Would they know what payments to stop? Which friends would you like contacted and what is the best way to reach them?
Thinking about these issues and having discussions about them long before it is necessary is really helpful to you, your family and your caregivers. It reduces your stress and the stress of everyone involved in supporting you. This is even more essential if your family and significant people live far away.
We have three resources to prompt your thinking about your end of life support and assist you to create a personal record either electronic, hard copy, or a mixture of both to document your choices.
1. My Choices
This book is a valuable guide to show you how to use the worksheets. It will help you initiate the conversations with family, and provides examples of how you can use the A-Z indexes and worksheets. We recommend you use the book to assist you when completing your worksheets. The book is available from Baptist Care SA for $15 plus postage and handling.
2. A-Z Index
Each of the five sections has an A-Z index to prompt your thinking regarding the relevance and importance of each topic for your end of life support. The indexes will help you reflect on what you value, so you can describe your wishes and preferences more accurately when you document them. You can use the worksheets or another system such as a binder with an A-Z index, or an indexed notebook to document your choices.
We have provided you with a series of worksheets in digital form using MS Word or as PDFs to document your choices. Be sure to keep your personal information and your financial details, usernames and passwords secure. Do not share private information.
The worksheets are a resource to collate your information. Each worksheet has instructions on how to complete it. The My Choices book has more information to guide completion of each worksheet. You can use as many copies as you need of each worksheet and complete as much of each sheet as is relevant to your situation. Some worksheets may have no relevance to you at all. Record as much or as little as you want on the worksheets. You should review and update your document as your preferences change. The choice always remains yours.
Some of the larger worksheets have been broken into smaller sections so you can download the sections that are relevant to you.
Advanced Care Plans
My Choices is not a legal Advance Care Directive. However, it may prompt your thinking and assist you to complete that form. Visit the Advance Care Planning website for information and to download the correct forms for your Australian state or territory https://www.advancecareplanning.org.au/ or ring 1300 208 582
Some of the worksheets in My Choices contain private information and they should be stored in a secure place. We recommend that you keep those worksheets in a fireproof, locked box because they hold important information that should remain confidential and secure.
Other worksheets can be made available to your support worker/s and they can be kept in a separate file that is readily accessible to your workers.
If you want to record secure identity numbers, passwords, security identifications etc. then you must keep that information in a separate document and store it in a locked, fireproof safe, in order to keep your information secure. That information should not be stored in your My Choices file.
Do not share your secure private information.
Be sure to keep your personal information, financial details and passwords secure.
While all care has been taken in preparing this publication, Baptist Care (SA) Inc. expressly disclaims any liability for any claims, damages, losses, expenses the user may incur as a result of or associated with, the use of the information contained herein for any reason whatever.