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The Importance of Timely Advance Care Planning

The Importance of Timely Advance Care Planning

March 24, 2021

There is no defined time or moment in life to prepare for future health care decisions. Timely advance care planning, however, ensures your care providers and loved ones have the information they need, whenever they might need it.

How do I know if I need advance care planning?

If you were suddenly unable to voice your decisions due to a serious illness or injury, how would people know what medical treatment you want? Who would speak to your doctor so that your health wishes were supported?

The future is never certain, and a medical crisis could leave you too ill or injured to make your own health care decisions. Regardless of your age or current state of health, advance care planning is an important step to ensure you receive the medical care you would want if you were not able to speak for yourself.

What is advance care planning?

Advance care planning is a discussion between you, your doctor and your loved ones to identify decision-makers, determine treatment preferences and develop a plan for your future that focuses on your quality of life.

Two of the important directives established in this process are the Advance Care Directive, which gives instructions about your future health care goals and preferences, and the Physician’s Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), which tells health care professionals what to do during a medical crisis where you cannot speak for yourself.

When is the right time to plan?

Many people choose to begin advance care planning as they age; however, a medical crisis can occur at any time. At any point in your adult life, you could face a medical situation that renders you unable to voice your wishes. The right time to start advance care planning is different for everyone but the best advice is to plan well before you think you will need it. You never know what life will bring.

Advance care planning at Charter

Our qualified health care professionals help you make decisions about your health based on your needs, goals and medical treatment preferences so you have a plan in place for advanced care. Once these steps are completed, we help you select the most appropriate Advance Care Directive to spell out your wishes for your future health care. You can adjust this document because of new information or a change in your health. At Charter, we are committed to helping patients receive care that honors their wishes and provides relief for loved ones. To learn more about advance care planning at Charter, call (909) 644-4965.