A quick guide to how an advance care plan keeps your care in check.
An advance directive is a legal document which allows you to record your healthcare wishes in case you can no longer speak for yourself. These documents can also be combined with Power of Attorney documents and are used by medical professionals as well as family and caregivers to ensure your decisions are heard and respected.
It Empowers You to Own Your Health
Make Your Own Healthcare Decisions
People are owning their healthcare more than ever before. Whether through health-related internet searches or health tracking apps, more and more people are taking steps to play an active role in making their health decisions. Setting up an advance care plan is another tool for taking ownership of your healthcare. It lets you document your decisions for what kind of care you want if you could not speak for yourself. A recent national survey found that 90% of Americans think discussing your healthcare preferences if you can’t speak for yourself is important, but fewer than 30% have taken steps to do so. By going ahead and making your plan, you make sure your healthcare will align with your values and decisions no matter what life throws your way.
After my daughter was born, my husband and I sat down to make sure we have plans in every aspect of our life in case something ever happens to one of us. Our advance care plans help us make sure our health care wishes are easily accessible in case of emergency so that we will have one less thing to worry about.
It Communicates Your Decisions
Create a Game Plan for Your Healthcare Team
Communication between patients and doctors is crucial for ensuring proper care. You know your wishes for your healthcare better than anyone else. But what if you cannot discuss your wishes with your healthcare team? When you create an advance care plan you provide a direction that can help guide your treatment and prevent your healthcare team from having to guess what care you want. That way your voice can always stay central to your care.
My Dad is very particular about his care. Having an Advance Care Plan helps us make sure the rest of our family and his doctors will know his preferences and be able to honor them. His planning also made me think about my own wishes, so I made one too.
It's a Responsibility to Those You Love
Plan for Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Discussing your healthcare wishes with your loved ones can be challenging. But sharing your healthcare decisions with close family and friends is one of the best ways to guarantee your wishes will be known and honored. Making an advance care plan does not only benefit you. It can also help those closest to you feel empowered to act as an advocate on your behalf no matter what. Giving them the knowledge of your choices can reduce their stress so that they can work with healthcare providers more confidently to manage your care in a way that aligns with your values.
My health is not as good as it used to be, so I have thought a lot more about what kind of care I am comfortable with. I value my advance care plan because it allows me to not worry about whether I will get the treatment I want. Thanks to my advance care plan, I am sure my family and docttor know what I really I want.
It Gives You Peace of Mind
Be Confident Your Wishes are Known and Accessible
Making an Advance Care Plan empowers you to be confident that you do not have to worry about your care if you cannot speak for yourself. By taking the time to discuss, document, and share your plan you can reduce your own stress. Nothing is more personal than your health. By taking time to create an advance care plan, you can rest assured that you will remain the guiding force in your care.
Plan your care in advance today by signing up for Mind My Health.