Advance Planning

National Advance Care Planning Week, March 22-26.

From an Advance Care Planning Australia video

As the organisers say, it’s “a time to talk about what matters most”. “National Advance Care Planning Week is an annual initiative by Advance Care Planning Australia that encourages all Australians, regardless of their age or health status, to make their future health care preferences known,” they explain on their … Read more

Is the place I want to be cared for the place where I want to die?

Dr Katrin Gerber

The work of Dr Katrin Gerber has caught our eye. This is because whenever the question comes up about where someone wants to die, it can be hard to gauge accurately, and Katrin has studied it intensely. As a kindly volunteer, sitting with palliative care patients, I remember being struck … Read more

Advance care planning and dementia patients.

The ELDAC Legal toolkit

A patient who doesn’t have legal capacity because of dementia, even the early signs of it, can’t sign documents such as wills and the assigning of their power of attorney. But what about their advance care document? Because of the rigidity of the first two, and the fact that advance … Read more

Choosing the executor of your will.

Ambre Langdown of ACL Law, Sanctuary Cove.

Lawyer Ambre Langdown published a story on her LinkedIn page last week (June 10) that contains practical, up-to-date information about choosing the executor of your will. As Ambre says, people see this as an honour – both those bestowed with the task and those who are doing the bestowing. “However, … Read more

Professor Joe and ‘the inappropriate question’.

Prof Joe deals with the inappropriate question.

We love this one. Prof Joe is so clear and gentle…and he knows how to tell a good story. For more from Prof Joe, including a range of brilliant resources, go to: For more good communication on advance planning, go to:

When ventilation goes too far.

A still from by Brad Racino's video in Deciding When a Life is No Longer Worth Living

Ventilators keeping more than 8000 patients alive, in nursing homes: it doesn’t seem plausible. But it’s true. In the US today approximately 8200 ventilators are being used in nursing homes, triggering a debate about whether these should be turned over to covid-19 patients, in the event of the country’s ventilator … Read more

Your Covid-19 team wants to know what you want.

Prepare For Your Care

We’ve found a good, practical, user-friendly resource that can help you with advance care planning if you become ill with Covid-19. The following message comes from, the US, one of the busiest countries dealing with Covid-19. Thank you very much to Colorado Care Planning at who helped us track … Read more

More questions than ever about advance care directives.


Advance care directives are evolving – and there’s so much more to know. For example, how do they work in a pandemic? But the main question is: Are the people who could benefit most from them, thinking about them? First step is to take the first step! This Canadian video … Read more

If someone witnesses my will being signed by Skype, is that valid?

If someone witnesses my will being signed by Skype, is that valid?

Video conferencing technology like Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom can now be used in NSW in the witnessing of important legal documents like wills, powers of attorney and statutory declarations under a new regulation made yesterday by the NSW Governor. “Questions about what to do about witnessing documents are very … Read more

Sorry to disappoint you, Robbie, but it’s coming to us all.

In the Radio ABC Sydney studio this morning to chat with the lovely Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck. We shared insights about a good death ahead of the three events being organised by Bayside Council and facilitated by Home Instead. To listen to the interview, go to the following link … Read more

Our first hubbub of 2020 was at Waverton.

The Waverley Hub spreads good cheer with carolling at Waverton Station, Christmas 2019.

‘Come and listen to Margaret at our next Waverton Hub Speakers’ Presentation: 2pm at the Waverton Uniting church hall, 75 Bay Rd Waverton Tuesday 4 February. No need to book – free entry – all invited.’

Burial in a shroud – no coffin.

An example of a shroud and trundle on the Gathered Here website

I’ve attached a great article from the Canadian newspaper, Edmonton Journal, which shows the growing acceptance of shrouds with no coffin burials, even among traditionalists. It says the Anglican church in Alberta is recognising the environmental concerns of its congregation, something that is catching on everywhere. My cover photo, which … Read more

Is death painful or more like uncomfortable?

ELDAC is providing opportunities for aged care facilities to improve their palliative care - pic courtesy ELDAC

The subject of painful death came up during a recent discussion about the palliative care needs of the elderly. “It’s probably more accurate to describe the discomforts of death, rather than pain at death, since for most people it is uncomfortable rather than painful,” a palliative care nurse explained. That’s … Read more