The Office of the Public Advocate and the Office for Ageing Well are working on the ‘Substitute Decision-Maker Toolkit Project’ together.

This project will be completed in June 2023.

About the project

A person with decision-making capacity can make an Advance Care Directive (ACD), which records their wishes, preferences, and instructions. They can write down what they want for their future health care, living arrangements and personal matters.

They can also appoint a substitute decision-maker (SDM), who can make a decision for them, if they are unable to make a particular decision for themselves. Sometimes a person loses decision-making capacity because of an injury or illness.

An SDM should make decisions that reflect the preferences, values and beliefs of the person who made the ACD.

The aim of this project is to give SDMs helpful tools and resources.

We will create clear, consistent, and easy to understand information about ACDs and the important role of substitute decision-making. This will also help people to feel confident that, when they appoint an SDM, the SDM will be able to uphold their wishes.

Project status

From late 2021 to May 2022, OPA met with many service providers, community members, and others who are interested in ACDs.

We asked those who had been SDMs about their experiences.

We also asked everyone for their ideas and views about what information they needed and what type of resources they thought would be helpful.

Now the consultation process is complete, OPA will take the feedback we collected, and decide what resources to create.

Between June and the end of 2022, the resources for SDMs will be made.

During the first half of 2023, the toolkit will be finished. We will be making the toolkit available to everyone, and also running workshops to provide more information to South Australians.

For more information on the project, please see our information flyer below.

SDM Toolkit Project flyer (PDF, 167.6 KB)

More information

You can also contact for more information.

We will update the OPA website as the project develops.