Advance decision (Living wills)

3. What is an advance statement?

Advance statements are similar to advance decisions, but are not the same thing. An advance statement gives you the option to make general statements about your wishes and views for the future, rather than refusing certain specific treatments. Often an advance statement is referred to as a ‘statement of wishes and care preferences’.

You could use an advance statement to express your wishes on future care options, such as where you wish to live, or the type of care and support you wish to receive. You could also use it to express other wishes and preferences not directly related to care, such as the food you would like.

If you have particular religious or spiritual views, an advance statement provides an opportunity to ensure that your values are taken into account by the people who make decisions for you. You can also include a list of people, such as your partner, family or friends, whom you wish to be consulted by health and social care professionals when they are making decisions about your care.

An advance statement can be made verbally, or you can write it down. It is better to put it in writing because then it is a permanent record of your wishes.

It is also important to note that you can make both an advance statement and an advance decision.