Advance care planning supports and encourages you to think about and share your values, wishes and beliefs about possible future health care.
Thinking about and sharing your wishes gives you more control over the care you get now and in the future. Knowing and sharing what you want eases the burden on the people who support you. It helps them make the decisions you would make for yourself if you were not able. If you think through what is important to you and what your wishes are, you are likely to feel less anxious, more at peace and more in control.
Start the conversations
After you think about your values, beliefs, wishes and consider the care you might want in the future, discussions with family and friends can decrease their anxiety and help them feel confident when they need to make decisions on your behalf.
Starting the conversations with family and friends:
- I want you to be prepared if you had make decisions on my behalf.
- I want to make sure you understand and could honour my wishes.
- I want to talk with you about what is important to me.
- I would like you to go with me to medical appointments.
- I think it’s really important all of the family understand my wishes.
Starting the conversations with a loved one:
- I want to be prepared if I had to make decisions on your behalf.
- I want to make sure I understand and could honour your wishes.
- I want to hear about what is important to you.
- I would like to go to medical appointments with you so I understand what is going on with your health.
- I think it’s really important we all talk together about this, all of the family and your friends.
Starting the conversations with your doctor:
- What treatments may be offered to me, based on my health, in one year or two years or five years?
- Which of my health conditions are easily treatable? Which are not?
- How might the proposed treatments improve or worsen my daily life as I know it now?
- Will the proposed treatments require time in hospital? Or can I get those at home?
Five steps to guide you through making your plan
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Don't take chances
Make a plan
- Write down your beliefs, values and wishes for future health care treatment.
- Decide what treatments you will or won't accept.
- Write down the contact information for the people who could be asked to be your temporary substitute decision maker if a health care decision is needed for you.
- Put your plan in a safe, accessible place and give copies to your doctor, family or friend.
- Review or change your plan as needed.
Your health care passport. It is a green magnetized wallet for the fridge and holds a list of your medications, substitute decision makers and any advance care planning documents. We recommend you take it with you to all medical appointments and clinic or hospital visits.
To order, call 1-877-825-5034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Advance care planning
For more information, call 1-877-TALK-034 (1-877-825-5034) or email email@example.com.