Advance care planning in Scotland
Planning for your future care is important in case you become unable to make choices yourself. If you were to become unconscious or lose capacity (the ability) to make decisions about treatment. This section is about some of the ways you can plan ahead and make choices about your future care if you live in Scotland.
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The ways people can plan ahead vary across the four nations of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and there are also some legal differences. The web pages in this section are about the ways people can plan ahead if they live in Scotland. We have information about planning ahead in England and Wales and Northern Ireland.
In this section, we tell you about some of the ways you can plan ahead. It includes information on:
- Your wishes for your care - these include your wishes for how and where you would like to be cared for if your health changes or you are reaching the end of your life
- Power of Attorney - this is when you give someone you trust the power to make decisions on your behalf about your property and finances and/or welfare and healthcare
- Advance Directive - these are your decisions about specific treatments that you don’t want to have.
It also has information about making a will, organ and tissue donation, and funeral planning.
We hope that this section will help you:
- think about what’s important to you and the ways you can plan ahead
- talk about your plans with the people close to you, and with health and social care professionals
- start writing down your plans so that the people who are involved in your care know what’s important to you
- deal with some of the worries you may have about planning ahead.
This information is about some of the different ways you can plan ahead. You may hear your health or social care team use the terms Advance and Anticipatory Care Planning. Both Advance and Anticipatory Care Planning are also about thinking ahead and planning for your future care.
Advance Care Planning usually refers to what you may or may not want to happen to you regarding care you may need at the end of your life. Anyone who can make decisions for themselves can make an Advance Care Plan.
Anticipatory Care Planning is about planning for changes in your condition that might be expected, for example if you have a long-term illness. Not everyone needs an Anticipatory Care Plan.
You can ask your health and social care professionals for more information about Advance and Anticipatory Care Planning.
Getting the most out of this section
To get the most out of this section, you may want to read it all through first and then concentrate on the sections that are most helpful for you. We can’t advise you about the best ways to plan ahead for yourself. You may find it helpful to discuss what’s best for you with a health or social care professional, and with someone close to you.
Remember that it’s your choice if you want to plan ahead and use some of the ways we’ve suggested in this section. If you don’t want to plan ahead or you need more time to think about it, that’s fine.
Planning ahead can be daunting, but it is a good way to improve the chances of getting the care you would choose. Most people feel better knowing they have prepared for the future.
There is a document in this section called What’s Important To Me [PDF, 56.2kb]. You may want to use this to help you think about and write down your wishes for your future care. You can also download a Planning Ahead checklist [PDF, 61.4kb]. You may find it helpful to fill it in.