Have you ever thought about what would happen if you landed in the hospital unable to speak for yourself? What if the doctor couldn’t get in touch with your loved ones in order to convene about important decisions that would impact your quality of life? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. But, now that you have, it’s time to create your advance care plan.
As morbid as it may seem to think and talk about end of life care, everyone age 18 or older should do so, and ideally, write their thoughts down in the form of an advance care plan. An advance care plan is a document that tells your physician exactly how you want to be cared for at the end of your life. Not only does it ensure that you have a say in your medical decisions, even when you’re unable to think or speak up, but it also takes the burden of responsibility away from your family members.
Creating an advance care plan is pretty straight-forward, and there are many websites available to help you do so. Essentially it consists of the following components:
- The name of your medical power of attorney (the person you would like to entrust with your medical decisions)
- Your goals and preferences about health care
- Medical treatment types you’re okay with and not okay with
- Care location preference, if applicable
- Whether you’d like to donate your organs
- Funeral arrangements
Mayo Clinic has a great template for advance care plans you can checkout here.
Once you’ve created your advance care plan, you’ll want to give a copy to your doctor, family, and attorney if you have one. Consider revisiting your plan at least every 10 years to ensure that nothing has changed.
What are you waiting for? Create your advance care plan today!