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Advance Planning Resources

The Importance of Advance Planning

By planning in advance how to handle different health and life scenarios, a person can live as he or she wants and can have greater control over decisions that affect the future. Caregivers need to encourage their loved ones to discuss these issues.

What is an Advance Directive?

An "advance directive" is a written document that expresses an individual's wishes for medical care if he or she becomes incompetent or incapacitated. When admitted to the hospital, a staff member will ask you if you have already prepared an advance directive. If you have an advance directive, and a copy is available, it will be placed in your medical record. 
Advance directives may include:
  • Living wills
  • Health care agents
  • Durable powers of attorney

Do You Have Your Five Wishes?

Five Wishes are your personal feelings on your care.
It lets your family and doctors know:
■ Who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can't make them
■ The kind of medical treatment you want or don't want
■ How comfortable you want to be
■ How you want people to treat you
■ What you want your loved ones to know

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