When something unforeseen happens, such as illness, it may feel as though you have less control over your life. One way to combat this feeling is to focus on what you can do to help yourself, which may involve formulating a plan to address any issues now and into the future. It is best to take a proactive approach when planning for the future by making choices now rather than later.
Talking openly about your health can be hard, but sharing your questions and concerns with those who can help you is extremely important. By communicating your desires clearly, recommendations from professionals can be better tailored to meet your needs. As HD inevitably affects ones income and expenses overtime, seeking advice on your financial requirements will provide a sound foundation on which to plan for the future. Although everyone has unique living and financial situations, common considerations when planning for the future include:
Insurance and superannuation
Assessing your insurance coverage is a crucial aspect in planning for the future. Read your health, life and income insurance policies and make sure you understand the basics of your coverage, including the fine print. Additionally, find out if your superannuation includes disability coverage and what terms and conditions apply to your particular policy. If you do not have superannuation and/or any insurance coverage, please seek advice from a financial advisor or alternatively visit the Australian Tax Office website for more information.
While there is no current cure for Huntington’s disease, there are family planning options for individuals and couples to consider to prevent passing on the faulty gene to their offspring. For more information and a summary of potential options, download Info sheet 12 - Family Planning Options.
- Melbourne IVF: Genetic Testing of Embryos (PGD)
- The Royal Women's Hospital: Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
- Centre for Genetics Education: Prenatal Testing Overview
- Centre for Genetics Education: Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
Health, Lifestyle and Estate Management planning
Putting steps in place now around health, lifestyle and estate management planning allows you to self-determine how you want your wishes carried out and who you authorise to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so. Focus areas can include:
- Making a will enables you to put a plan in place that will provide for your loved ones and remove unnecessary stress at a difficult time
- Creating an Advance care plan. An advanced care plan can inform others of your preferences in relation to medical treatment in the event you cannot express your wishes yourself.
- Taking out an Enduring Power of Attorney. Enduring power of attorneys is a legally recognised document that upholds your wishes in relation to your health care, lifestyle management options as well as financial matters. By taking out an enduring power of attorney, you are authorising someone that you trust to act on your behalf.
- Preplanning my funeral. Planning your funeral in advance allows you to determine the exact type of service you would like so that your loved ones can celebrate you as you wish. A pre-planned funeral service can remove the need for complex decisions to be made by your loved ones during a challenging time.
- Registering for brain organ donation. Brain donation occurs when an individual decides to donate their brain for medical research following their death.