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Advance care planning

Thinking about what type of care you would want in an end-of-life situation is often difficult.

Advance care planning is the process of thinking about and planning for a time when you may be unable to make your own decisions regarding your medical care. It allows you to assign a patient advocate, who is a person who is responsible for carrying out the decisions you’ve discussed. Having your desires spelled out relieves your family members and loved ones from wondering if they “did the right thing” on your behalf. It takes the guesswork off their shoulders and ensures that you receive the care that you want when there is little likelihood of your recovery.

Advance care planning also allows you to put your decisions in writing in what’s called an Advance Directive. This Advance Directive will go into your electronic medical chart so that, should there be a need, your doctor will know how to best care for you.

Who should complete advance directives?

Advance directives are important for all adults age 18 and older. The stakes may be higher for young people if there is a tragedy, and for those diagnosed with chronic illnesses such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, dementia, end-stage kidney disease, end-stage liver disease/cirrhosis or cancer.

We can help

For many of us, advance care planning is a challenging task that takes more than just signing a document. This is why Mercyhealth has a team of specially trained individuals, called certified advance care planning facilitators, who are here to gently start the conversation with you and your loved ones.

Our facilitators offer free basic health care planning talks to help you:

  • Understand your future health care options
  • Decide what “quality of life” means to you
  • Separate common myths from facts
  • Reflect on your values, goals and religious values
  • Know how to choose someone to make your health care decisions
  • Learn about other professionals who can help you make decisions
  • Read through and complete the documents
  • Know who should have copies and what actually happens with them when you cannot make your own decisions

Schedule a consultation

To schedule a free, basic health care planning consultation, call Mercyhealth’s Advance Care Services at your preferred location: