What is Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning is the process of thinking and talking about future medical decisions if you had a sudden event, like a car accident or illness, and could not make your own decisions. The best time to make these decisions is when you can choose for yourself.

Advance Care Planning involves important real life conversations to reflect on, discuss, and plan for a time when you cannot make your own health care decisions. It is a process for you to understand possible health care choices, think about these choices in light of the values and goals important to you, discuss your choices with your loved ones and health care providers, and make a plan for future situations.

Imagine this scenario:

A life threatening event has left you unable to communicate with those around you or to participate in your daily care, treatment planning, or decision making. Even though all care and available treatments are being provided, your doctors have determined your illness or injury cannot be cured and death is likely, or your brain function will not return.

 Ask yourself:

  • What does ‘living well’ mean to me? For example: If I were having a good day, what would happen on that day? Who would I talk to? What would I do?
  • What brings me joy and comfort?
  • What cultural, religious, spiritual, or personal beliefs, if any, might help me choose the care I want or don’t want?


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