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Planning for the Future

Decision Support Service

The role of the Decision Support Service (DSS) is to promote the rights and interests of people who may need support with decision-making as provided for in the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, operational from April 26, 2023. A core principle of the Act is that all persons have the presumption of capacity and should be supported to make their own decisions as far as is possible. The Act emphasises minimal restriction of a person’s rights and freedoms and the importance of respect for will and preferences.

The DSS is a new state service for all adults who may need support with their decision-making capacity, and anyone who wishes to plan ahead by way of an enduring power of attorney or an advance healthcare directive. Adults who may have difficulties with decision-making capacity could include adults with an intellectual disability, a mental illness, an acquired brain injury, or those with neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington’s disease or dementia.

The DSS website provides information about the service and has codes of practice and resources available.  For further information see:

Advance Care Directive

An Advance Healthcare Directive lets you to write down your wishes about healthcare and medical treatment decisions in case you are unable to make these decisions at some time in the future. You can appoint someone you know and trust as your designated healthcare representative to ensure your advance healthcare directive is followed.

You can make an Advance Healthcare Directive if you:

  • Are 18 years old or more; and
  • Have decision-making capacity at the time you are making your Advance Healthcare Directive.

Information and an  Advance Care Directive Template is available via the Decision Support Service website


The Citizens Information website also has information available on Advanced Care Directives

The Irish Hospice Foundation has a range of resources available including I Want To Think Ahead - Irish Hospice Foundation


Neurological Alliance of Ireland and Irish Hospice Foundation booklet

This booklet Planning for the future Information for people who have an advancing neurological illness is for people who have an advancing neurological illness and who want to make plans for their future. It may also be useful for family, friends, carers and health professionals. It is not recommended for people who have been recently diagnosed. If you are recently diagnosed please contact HDAI for information and support.