Advance Care Planning
Advance care planning means that you plan ahead for your future health care. Even if you're healthy, it's important to make a plan in case the time comes when you aren't able to make decisions for yourself. If you have a serious health problem that is getting worse, making decisions now about end-of-life care can make things easier for you and your family. Clearly stating your wishes can help ease your mind.
The Advanced Care Planning Guide on the Foundation for Health Communities Web site is a tool for thinking about, talking about and planning for a life-threatening illness or end-of-life care. It involves two sections to help you through the process.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
The Durable Power of Attorney section allows you to identify another person to act as your healthcare agent, making medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated. The document has an area for special instructions, such as which treatments doctors should provide and for how long.
The Living Will section instructs a physician not to provide life-sustaining treatment, if you're near death or permanently unconscious, without the hope of recovery.