Purpose of an Advance Statement
An Advance Statement is a document through which you can state your preferences, wishes, beliefs and values for a time when you are not able to share them yourself. You can say how you wish to be cared for, such as stating any food preferences you have. You can express your spiritual, religious or non-religious beliefs. You can make sure any special needs you have or that your hopes and aspirations towards the end of your life are known to your carers, health professionals, family and close friends. Most importantly it gives you comfort in knowing how you will be cared for at the end of your life.
Unlike an Advance Decision, an Advance Statement is not legally binding. However, creating one and sharing it will help those caring for you to act in your best interests. It will also help to put into context decisions made in your Advance Decision.
How to ensure your Advance Statement can be followed
Informing your family and / or close friends as well as your GP that you have created and Advance Statement will ensure that your wishes and preferences are known. This is the only way of making sure that your Advance Statement can be followed should you lose the ability to make decisions. It is therefore a good idea to give them signed copies of an Advance Statement, as well as your Advance Decision if you have made one.