Advance Care Planning
Advance care planning is making decisions about the care you would want to receive if you happen to become unable to speak for yourself. These are your decisions to make, regardless of what you choose for your care. The decisions are based on your personal values, preferences and discussions with your loved ones.
If you are in an accident or have an illness that leaves you unable to talk about your wishes, who will speak for you?
Advance care planning includes:
- Getting information on the types of life-sustaining treatments that are available.
- Deciding what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
- Sharing your personal values with your loved ones.
Completing advance directives to put into writing what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be unable to speak for yourself.
Communicating Your End-of-Life Wishes
Decisions about end-of-life care are deeply personal and are based on your values and beliefs. Because it is impossible to foresee every type of circumstance or illness, it is essential to think in general about what is important to you. Conversations that focus on your wishes and beliefs will relieve loved ones and healthcare providers.
Advance care planning honors the dignity of everyone and gives people the opportunity to make informed decisions.
How to Talk to Your Loved Ones
Sharing your end-of-life care decisions with your loved ones will also help them ensure your wishes are followed. Decisions may include answers to the following questions:
- How important is it to you to be physically independent and stay in your own home?
- Would you want your healthcare agent to take into account the effect your illness has on any other people?
- Would you prefer to die at home if possible?