Advance Care Planning
One conversation can make all the difference in the world.
With advance care planning, you can have control over the care you receive throughout your life. You are empowered to make decisions about the care you want to receive should you face a medical crisis.
Whether you are healthy, just received a diagnosis or nearing the end of your life, you can make decisions that reflect your values, preferences and conversations with loved ones.
As part of advance care planning, you can:
- Learn about available life-sustaining treatments.
- Decide which treatments you do or do not want.
- Share your desires with loved ones.
- Complete advance directives, a written legal document that spells out:
- What treatments you do or do not want.
- Who should speak for you if you are not able to speak for yourself.
Advance care planning is the process of thinking about, documenting and discussing your preferences.
Research studies find 9 out of 10 people believe it is important to talk about their end-of-life wishes. However, less than a third of people do so.
According to Elizabeth Golding, DO, Cone Health palliative care medical director, advance care planning “…has no agenda other than the patient’s agenda….it’s a gift that you give back to family, actually.”
To get started, you may want to learn how to begin the conversation with loved ones. Once you have chosen a health care agent or health care power of attorney, you should talk with him or her about your treatment preferences. Then, it’s time to put your decision in writing.
A THN staff member can help you decide which advance care planning form(s) are right for you. For North Carolina residents, the following forms are most often used:
- N.C. Easy-to-read Advance Directives:
- Health Care Power of Attorney (English or Spanish)
- Living Will (English or Spanish)
- N.C. Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) form in English and Spanish
- N.C. Advance Instruction for Mental Health Treatment
In North Carolina, advance directives must be notarized. Find a notary in your area.
While health crises can be difficult, if you prepare ahead of time, you can make these times less stressful for everyone.
Hospice & Palliative Care Resources
For information on palliative or hospice care, visit Authora Care Collective and Hospice Care of the Piedmont to learn more.
Communicating with Your Health Care Team
With a health care power of attorney and an advance directive, you can stay in control of your care and ensure your wishes are followed by loved ones and caregivers.
THN has partnered with Vynca, Inc., to provide a technology platform where patients’ wishes can be stored and shared regardless of where you receive care.
If you have an advance care planning document you would like to share with your medical team, bring your document to your next appointment and ask to have it uploaded to your medical record.