The time to talk about end-of-life care is now
Most of us plan for college, weddings and retirement long before they happen. The same should be true for another important event — end-of-life care.
No. Every adult should have an advance care plan. Accidents, emergencies and sudden illnesses can happen anytime. A plan is an important part of your medical record. It tells your doctor, advocate and loved ones how you want to be cared for.
No. A lawyer can help if you want, but it’s not required. Just know that your plan needs to be in writing and signed by witnesses.
Yes. You can go over your plan and change it anytime. Remember, it’s used only if you can’t speak for yourself. Until then, you’ll make all decisions for yourself.
Your advocate can be anyone you want, including a spouse, friend or family member. It should be someone who is at least 18 years old and:
- Knows you well
- Is calm in a crisis
- Understands what you want
- Will speak up for you and ask good questions
- Can reassure and talk with your family
Doctors usually follow an advance care plan across state lines. But if you move to another state, it’s a good idea to create a new plan. Many states have their own advance care forms. Find your state’s directive at caringinfo.org.
Get an advance care planning worksheet
Don’t leave your medical care to chance. This worksheet will help you think about your values and the kind of care you want.
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