Taking charge and planning for your future

Oct 25 2023

will, planning for older age, planning for your future

Thinking about what matters to you as you get older, have you made plans for your healthcare, finances and living arrangements? These plans can include making a will and choosing people you trust to help make decisions about managing money or medical care.

Having good plans in place brings peace of mind, knowing you are better prepared for major life changes. It also reduces stress and worries for your loved ones.

Unfortunately, many people are not as well prepared as they could be. Legal documents made years ago might be outdated; relationships and life circumstances might have changed; values and goals for the future might have shifted.

Researchers from the University of Newcastle and HMRI's Equity in Health and Wellbeing research program are collaborating with researchers from the University of Technology Sydney to conduct a study that looks to understand how people plan ahead for medical, financial and other decisions. They are recruiting people aged 65 years and older who live in NSW to take part in the study.

The research team – including behavioural scientist Dr Jamie Bryant from the University of Newcastle, and Law Professor Nola Ries from the University of Technology Sydney - want to learn more about how people prepare for the future and how advance personal planning can be improved, especially in regional communities.

“Legally, people have the right to plan for their future and to have their wishes known and respected,” says Professor Ries. “But even when people have done some planning, the documents can often be improved to better protect their legal rights.”

The study, which is funded by the Australian Research Council, will run for 6 months. Participants complete a 20 minute questionnaire at the start of the study and again in 6 months’ time with a $20 giftcard provided at completion. Educational resources on advance planning will also be available to participants.

For more information and to participate click here