Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Advance care planning

There are a number of things that can be done to plan for care in the future. These are known collectively as ‘advance care planning’. Advance Decisions and Advance Statements enable individuals to make decisions about their views, preferences and wishes about future care before they are no longer able to and provide guidance to relatives and others supporting them.

Advance Care Planning is a process of discussion between the individual and those who provide care for them. There are sources of advice and templates on Advance Care Plans. The term ‘Living will’ is sometimes used to refer to Advance Statements.

Share this page



  • Mental Capacity Act Code of PracticeNovember 21 2014This guidance published by the Office of the Public Guardian explains to people working with or caring for adults who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves the legal responsibilities that must be considered under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • Planning for your future careSeptember 16 2014This guidance published by the National Council for Palliative Care explains advance care planning to the public. It outlines the different options available to people when planning for their end of life care.
  • Making decisions: who decides when you can’t?April 20 2009This guidance published by the Office of the Public Guardian explains how the Mental Capacity Act 2005 affects anyone who is unable to make some or all decisions for themselves. It provides advice to help people to plan ahead in case they are unable to make and understand decisions in the future.
  • Making decisions: a guide for people who work in health and social careApril 1 2009This guidance published by the Office of the Public Guardian explains to health and social care workers how the Mental Capacity Act 2005 affects anyone who is unable to make some or all decisions for themselves.
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005March 5 2014The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force in 2007 and affects all those working in health and social care involved in caring for people over the age of 16 who are unable to make some or all decisions for themselves.
  • The dementia guideFebruary 22 2014This guide produced by the Alzheimer's Society is for anyone who has recently been told they have dementia.
  • QS30: Supporting people to live well with dementiaApril 3 2013This quality standard, published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), covers the care and support of people with dementia.
  • Advance decisionsMarch 5 2014Advance Directives (also referred to as advance decisions to refuse treatment, ADRTs, or living wills) may be drawn up by any person with capacity to do so who is over the age of 18, to determine what treatment they might receive in the event of them losing capacity to make decisions under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • RCGP Commissioning Guidance in End of Life CareMarch 4 2013This guidance offers a logical six-step framework and overview to support GP commissioners to deliver practical improvements in end of life care, aligned with national policy and quality standards.
  • Commissioning End of Life Care: Act & EarlyJuly 4 2011This guidance published by the National Council for Palliative Care aims to help healthcare commissioners to prioritise early action on end of life care to ensure people’s choices are met and to avoid unnecessary emergency hospital admissions.
  • Matters of Life and Death: Helping people to live well until they dieAugust 4 2012This guidance aims to support practitioners to implement the End of Life Care Patient Charter, jointly produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Nursing.
  • Gold Standard Framework Prognostic Indicator GuidanceOctober 4 2011This guidance aims to help GPs, clinicians and other professionals in earlier identification of those adult patients nearing the end of their life who may need additional support.
  • Treatment and care towards the end of life: good practice in decision makingNovember 4 2010This guidance provides a framework for good practice aimed at doctors when providing treatment and care for patients who are reaching the end of their lives.
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)March 5 2014This factsheet published by the Alzheimer's Society explains the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), which are part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It also outlines the process for getting authorisation for a deprivation of liberty and how to get it reviewed.
  • Advance care planning toolkitOctober 19 2012This toolkit developed by the National End of Life Care Programme (NEoLCP) aims to help care providers approach the advance care planning process with confidence and knowledge.
  • Show all


  • Alzheimer’s SocietyAlzheimer's Society is a membership organisation, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.Devon House, 58 St Katharine's Way, London, E1W 1LB020 7423 3500
  • Dementia UKDementia UK is a national charity, committed to improving quality of life for all people affected by dementia. The charity provides Admiral Nurses, specialist dementia nurses who provide practical and emotional support to family carers of people with dementia.2nd Floor, Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA020 7697 4160
  • Carers UKCarers UK is a national membership charity for carers, that is both a support network and a movement for change.20 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4LX0808 808 7777
  • National Council for Palliative CareThe National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) is the umbrella charity for all those involved in palliative, end of life and hospice care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.The Fitzpatrick Building, 188-194 York Way, London, N7 9AS020 7697 1520
  • Gold Standards Framework CentreThe National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Centre in End of Life Care is the national training and coordinating centre for all GSF programmes, enabling generalist frontline staff to provide a gold standard of care for people nearing the end of life.Victoria Mews, 8-9 St Austin's Friars, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1RY01743 291 891