Advance Care Planning – Making Your Wishes Known

 

Why make your healthcare wishes known?

Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership

  • 90% of people say conversations are important; only 27% have done so
  • When families don’t know what your wishes are, they risk conflict with siblings, guilt, confusion, and possible life-long family divides
  • Family uncertainty and disagreements make care providers’ jobs more difficult
  • Planning takes time and plans may change as you age and health declines, start early and revisit plans often
  • Starting the conversation with your family may be difficult, but it is an important place to start
  • Help is available – at no cost – attend an information session or talk with a certified facilitator about your goals, values, and choices and document your wishes in an Advance Directive

Who should plan?

  • There is a saying that “there is always time to plan, until it is too late”
  • You must be of sound mind to sign an Advance Directive
  • Every adult has the right to make their own healthcare decisions
  • Everyone over 18 should have an Advance Directive

What is an Advance Directive?

  • It is a document that describes when and what healthcare treatments you want, and
  • Names a healthcare agent to make decisions for you
  • If you become unable to make or communicate choices for your self
  • To download a copy of the BCHIP Advance Directive, click here

What are the benefits (the “gift” to your family) of having conversations and documenting your wishes in an Advance Directive?

  • You get the care you want
  • Your family is more likely to be satisfied with the care you receive
  • You may enter Hospice earlier, live longer and experience a higher quality of life
  • You are more likely to die in your residence surrounded by your family
  • Your family will experience less depression and get on with their lives more easily

How can you learn more about Advance Care Planning and create an Advance Directive at no cost?

  • Schedule a conversation with a certified facilitator at a Center of Service for Advance Care Planning to which you are encouraged to bring your agent
  • Attend a community presentation or schedule a presentation for your organization
  • Schedule a group facilitated conversations for 8 – 12 friends or colleagues
  • Talk to your doctor about the importance of advance care planning

For more information and to schedule conversations, call one of BCHIP’s Centers of Service for Advance Care Planning:

To schedule presentations or group facilitated conversations, contact Dr. Carolyn Newsom, Esq. at 215-321-0468 or ccnewsom@verizon.net.