Advance Care Planning

April 6, 2017

Think about it

Even if you are in good health now, it’s never too early to start a conversation about the medical care you would want in the future. Advance care planning involves learning about the types of decisions that might need to be made and letting others know about your preferences through specific documents:

  • A health care power of attorney documents the person you select to be your voice for your health care decisions if you cannot speak for yourself. 
  • A living will documents what kind of medical treatments you would or would not want.

Talk about it

Start to understand your options by talking with your doctor and by asking yourself some tough questions, such as:

  • If you were to become severely ill, what is most important to you?
  • Are there treatments that you would or would not want? 
  • Who will you designate that will understand your wishes and communicate them to your doctor, hospital, and family members?

Share it

Once you make your decisions, it’s important to put your plans in writing. Unless your family knows what you want, they can be left with the distress of guessing how to best care for you. Assistance and resources are available at:

Sources: www.nhcdd.org; www.nia.nih.gov; www.theconversationprojectinboulder.org