Our health changes as we age, but maintaining our wishes shouldn’t be affected. Should your health prevent you from speaking for yourself it is important your wishes are in writing. Advance Care Planning (ACP) can help remove some of the uncertainty and offer peace of mind throughout all stages of aging.
ACP is the process by which you pre-determine your wishes in regard to medical care and treatment should you be unable to communicate your wishes for yourself. The process includes a series of conversations with your family, friends or a trusted advisor about your wishes. During these conversations, you will want to appoint someone who fully understands your wishes as your health care representative should such a situation arise.
While 82 percent of people say that it’s important to put their wishes into writing, only 23 percent have actually done it. Follow this checklist for your own ACP planning and make sure your wishes are honored. By reading this article, you’re already on the first step.
Advance Care Planning Checklist
Several of these steps mention filling out paperwork. There are two documents you may wish to complete as part of your ACP:
Living Will: A document that specifies which types of medical treatment you desire in the event you become terminally ill or are unable to communicate.
Health Care Representative Appointment form: A document that authorizes another person to make health care decisions on your behalf.
Each of these forms is free and legally enforceable. You can visit the Indiana Patient Preferences Coalition at www.indianapost.org or call us at Aging & In-Home Services to request blank forms to fill out.
We know having these conversations isn’t easy, but they are essential for maintaining the integrity of your wishes. At AIHS, we have resources available to help you walk through this process. There are no eligibility requirements to create an Advance Care Plan so if you need help starting your own ACP conversation, Just Call Us! 260-469-3036