Advance Care Planning

Think about your beliefs, values and wishes regarding future health care treatment.  Do your close family members, friends and health care providers know what treatment(s) you would agree to or refuse if you became incapable of expressing your own decisions?

Since new legislation came into effect in 2011, (more to follow next spring), your health wishes may not be addressed properly through your current Power of Attorney.  You may want a different deciision-maker for your health-related care decisions.  Your advance care planning should now include:

– a written record of your beliefs, values and wishes for future health care treatment

– names and contact information of the people who qualify to be substitute decision-makers for you

– a Representation Agreement where you name someone to make your health and personal care decisions if you become incapable

– an Advance Directive which must be followed by your health care provider

– an Enduring Power of Attorney (for financial affairs) which would take effect only when you become incapable

As long as you are capable of making your own decisions, you can cancel or change any part of your advance care plan.

Have a voice in your future health care decisions and make an advance care plan.