Advance Care Planning (ACP)

mother daughter advance care planning

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the ongoing process of planning for your future health and personal care. It involves a discussion and documentation about your personal beliefs and goals with your loved ones and healthcare providers.


Some topics covered in an ACP discussion include: 

  • Preferred treatment options
  • Place of care and death
  • Extent of healthcare to be applied
  • Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson


  • During or after discussion, you can write down your wishes and preferences in the ACP booklet; or
  • Attend a facilitated session at selected hospitals, polyclinics and community care providers.
  • This will guide your family and healthcare team in making decisions if a crisis occurs in the future.

Who should do ACP?

Standing Together

ACP can be done by anyone aged 21 and above in Singapore. Ideally, you should start discussing your health and personal care preferences when you are still healthy and have the mental capacity to express yourself.

Mental capacity refers to your ability to make a specific decision. This involves:

  • Understanding the decision-making situation
  • Understanding the benefits, cons and consequences of the decision made
  • Communicating the decision you made

Stages of ACP

General ACP Discussion

For relatively healthy adults

Disease-Specific ACP

For patients with progressive or life-limiting conditions

Preferred Plan of Care ACP

For patients with advanced illnesses who are likely to pass away within a year

Since ACP is an ongoing process of planning for your health and personal care, you should discuss and document your ACP preferences in different stages of your life. As your needs and mindset change over time, this will ensure that your wishes are regularly updated and shared with your loved ones.

What is a Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson?

In the event that you are unable to speak for yourself, a Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson (NHS) will be your voice to help communicate your preferred treatment and care plans to your healthcare team. Your NHS can be a family member or a friend you trust.

mother and son

Your NHS should be:

  1. At least 21 years old
  2. Willing to speak on your behalf
  3. Able to understand your preferences, concerns and values
  4. Able to communicate your wishes to the healthcare team
  5. Able to make decisions and honour your wishes under stressful situations

You may nominate up to two NHS. Both parties should clearly understand and agree on your care preferences. 

As ACP is an ongoing process, you should inform your NHS of any changes to your care preferences.

Why is ACP Important for Your Parents?

Discussion Over Coffee

Receive care that aligns with their goals and values

ACP is not just about end-of-life care preferences, it is a deeper conversation to reflect on your life, mortality, values and relationships. It also allows your parents to share their values, wishes and rationale on how they would like to be cared for in the future.

Starting ACP discussions early ensures that your parents receive the type of care that aligns with their goals and values.

Guide for loved ones in future unexpected situations

Without ACP, we may not know how our parents would like to be treated or cared for in the event an unexpected medical situation occurs.

Having ACP conversations with our parents early allows us to make informed decisions on their future care plans. This can also help avoid unnecessary stress, conflicts and guilt.

Discussion Over Coffee


ACP involves the discussion and documentation of one’s values and future care preferences. Visit our YouTube channel for an idea of what an ACP discussion involves.

Visit our Start the Conversation page to find out more.

ACP sessions can be facilitated at selected hospitals, polyclinics, community care providers and through video conferencing platforms. Find an ACP facilitator near you from the ACP Directory.


If you don’t want to document your ACP yet, you may choose to engage in an ACP discussion with your parents on your own. You may refer to AIC's ACP Resources to help guide your discussion.

Read AIC's ACP FAQ to find out more.