I’m sure that you’re asking how can any ONE thing help everyone? In this age where there are a multitude of different solutions for everyone, it’s hard to think that everyone taking the same action would be good. Well, let’s suppose that you were so hurt or ill that you couldn’t speak. What would your loved ones do? How would they know what treatment options and medical decisions to make for you? For that matter of fact, who would you want making those decisions? What personal values or beliefs do you have that you would want considered when making these types of decisions? Wouldn’t you need them to know what you would want? Of course, you would!
This process that I’ve begun to outline is called Advanced Care Planning or ACP for short. ACP involves several issues and is for all adults over the age of 18. It means that you think about and plan for future healthcare decisions if you had sudden health event, such as above. While everyone should document their healthcare decisions, the decisions that each of us would make will be different! There are many distinct types of individuals that help you to identify and document your decisions such as Social Workers, Care Managers and Advanced Care Planning Facilitators.
Why should you plan for yourself and your family members? If your loved one was hurt or ill, wouldn’t you want to know what their wishes are? For you, if you care about the burden your family and/or loved ones would be under or if you care about your wishes being heard, then please look at the Advanced Care Planning process. Both Chris and I at Seniors Blue Book are Advanced Care Planning Facilitators thanks to the partnership between Lancaster General Health and Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation – so you can ask us to help! Alternatively ask a Social Worker or Care Manager at any hospital that is close to you. If you’d rather, you can go to www.yourlifeyourwishes.com or www.lghealth.org/advancecareplanning/ to learn more.
Contact Chris or Cynthia for help with Advance Care Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org.