Many years ago, when you saw a health professional, it was expected that they told you what to do.
But times have changed. You have a right to be treated as an equal, and most health professionals now see you as a partner in your health care.
Modern health professionals understand that it is your life, not theirs. They understand that you know more about yourself than they do. They also understand that you might have a carer, a family member or a friend that you also want to include in discussions and decisions around your health care.
They understand that they should offer you choices or recommendations, but let you decide.
If you speak up for yourself, and work together with doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, there’s a good chance that you will get the care and support you want and need.
And if your health professionals don’t understand these things and don’t treat you as an equal partner in your care, you could show them this booklet, or tell them about the companion booklet written for them, Better health for people living with dementia: a guide on the role of allied health professionals.
Or you could speak up to a social worker or other health professional to voice your concerns.
- Advance Care Planning Australia. This national site has links to your state or territory. Some state and territory websites have information specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Dementia Advocates Program, Alzheimer’s Australia. If you are a person with a diagnosis of dementia or a current or former carer of a person with dementia, you can join the Dementia Advocates Program. NSW | WA
- Dignity in Care. 2015. UK .
- Future planning and advance care planning: why it needs to be different for people with dementia and other forms of cognitive decline. 2016. Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre and Hammond Care.
- Preventing financial abuse of people with dementia. Discussion paper, 10 June 2014. Alzheimer’s Australia NSW .
- Start to talk. A website about planning ahead.
- What prevents people with dementia making plans for their future? Discussion paper 4, March 2012. Alzheimer’s Australia NSW .
The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government funded initiative.