National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16 – a day to highlight the importance of completing advance directives and communicating with your loved ones about health care wishes. During these uncertain times, it has never been so important to understand, complete or review advance care planning documents. We hope that we can answer some of the most common questions here.
What is advance care planning?
Advance care planning is the process of thinking about and documenting your end-of-life healthcare preferences before a medical crisis arises.
What is a health care power of attorney?
A healthcare power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. This person is called your healthcare agent.
What is a living will?
A living will is a legal document that directs decision making about your end-of-life care preferences.
Why is advance care planning important?
There are many reasons that advance care planning is important. #1 – when you plan, you get a voice. #2 – you take some of the burden off of your caregiver. #3 – allows your medical care providers to understand your goals of care.
What should I do with my documents?
Don’t hide them away – provide a copy to share them with your healthcare agent as well as your doctor(s). Ask if your documents can be scanned into your electronic medical record. Once shared, store them in a safe place and review them annually.
Thank you for taking time to learn more about advance care planning. Even though our public advance care planning events are temporarily postponed, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about advance care planning by phone.
To download your state-specific advance directive documents, click here.