Advance Care Planning

Hal Friedman
Hal Friedman, Director of Business Development, Gilchrist Hospice Care

Advance directives ensure that your health care wishes will be carried out, even if you cannot speak for yourself in a time of crisis. Completing advance directives is free and when you do, be sure to discuss with and give copies to family, physicians – anyone who may be directly responsible for your care. If you have questions about advance directives, talk with your physician, who can provide information about treatments you may or may not wish to receive.

We cannot stress the importance of advance directives and encourage everyone to complete them. Though we understand there is a lot to consider with advance care planning. You may be ready to complete your advance directives today, while others may decide to discuss their options with their family, friends and/or physicians first. The important thing is that you get the process started.

Three important things to know about advance directives

1. Examples of advance directives:

  • A Living Will (or Advance Care Plan): are instructions provided by you that specify what actions, treatment options and other important considerations should be taken for your health in the event that you are unable to do so.
  • Appointment of Health Care Agent (or Medical Power of Attorney): allows you to name an individual(s) who will be authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf, if you were unable to do so.

It is often encouraged that you complete both documents to provide the most comprehensive guidance regarding your care.

2. Advance directives are available from a variety of sources, such as health-care providers (including Gilchrist Hospice Care) and websites including:

3. Advance directives can be amended if you change your mind about something. 

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