An advance care plan is one way to make sure your loved ones know what you want. It’s used if a sudden illness or accident leaves you unable to speak for yourself. With an advance care plan, your loved ones will know your preferences.
Choose an advocate
This should be someone who would speak for you if you couldn’t speak for yourself. This should be someone who:
- Knows you well
- Is calm in a crisis
- Understands what you want
- Can ask questions and speak up for you
- Can reassure and update your family
Talk with your advocate and share your care preferences
Things to talk about:
- What's important to you as a person?
- How should they know what you want?
- When should they stop treatment and focus on your comfort?
- What are the things that bring you comfort?
Complete your advance directive
Visit prepare for your care to get more information and complete your advance directive. This will tell your doctor and family about your wishes in case you can't speak for yourself.
Share your information
Give a copy of your plan to your family, doctor and advocate. You should also:
- Review it with your doctor
- Ask that a copy be put in your medical record
- Talk with your family and loved ones
- Revisit your plan as life changes
No. Advance care planning is for everyone. Car accidents, crises and sudden illnesses can happen to anyone at any time. Every adult should have an advance care plan.OR
No. Any person can complete an advance directive. You can talk about advance care planning when and where you’re comfortable.OR
Your plan can be updated at any time. You should review your plan any time you have a life event. This may include the death of a spouse, a change in your health or a move.
Remember that your plan only takes effect if you can’t speak for yourself. Until then, you’ll make all your decisions for yourself.OR
Doctors will typically follow an advance directive across state lines. But if you move, it’s a good idea to create a document in your new home state.OR