Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning 

Mountain View
Communicate What Matters Most

Many people are not fully aware what Advance Care Planning is.  It is sometimes referred to as Code status, Living will, or advanced directives.  In fact, all of those terms apply to the concept of Advance Care Planning, a topic most of us would just assume ignore.  After all, Advance Care Planning involves making a plan for a life event no one wants to think about, namely, the end of our life.

It is a reality for all of us that tomorrow is promised to no one. When that day does come, it is better for our loved ones and our health care team to have an idea of what we would like to see happen, rather than having to make decisions for us without really knowing what we want.  No one wants to talk about this, but it is probably one of the most important conversations any of us will ever have.

So what does Advance Care Planning entail?  Long story short, it requires filling out some forms which clarify what you want and don’t want; things like being hospitalized, a breathing machine, dialysis, and artificial feedings. It also involves decisions about chest compressions, breathing tubes, and having your heart shocked if it stops beating.  And it can also identify a person who can make life decisions for you in the event you cannot.

While this sounds scary, it is actually pretty straightforward, and creates some peace of mind for you and your family by outlining what your wishes are.  To help with this, Mammoth Hospital has partnered with Five Wishes to provide you an easy way to complete your Advance Care Planning. There are two options:

Option One: Complete an online form here: 

 

Option Two: Inquire with your Primary Care Provider for a physical form. 

Once you have filled out the Advance Care Planning forms, your provider will confirm everything is filled out correctly and accurately, and we will then file a copy into your medical record for safekeeping. We can also provide you with copies to give to family members and/or designated healthcare agents.

If you are having technical difficulties with the forms, please contact Caroline Britton at caroline.britton@mammothhospital.com. If you have any questions about Advance Care Planning, please discuss these at your next annual wellness exam or make an appointment with your Primary Care Provider. If you have any questions regarding your legal rights associated with the form, seeking legal counsel is recommended.

While this sounds scary, it is actually pretty straightforward, and creates some peace of mind for you in your family by outlining what your wishes are.

One last point to remember is that nothing you request is written in stone.  Your wishes will be reviewed each year during your annual wellness visit, or you can modify or change your wishes at any time. Either way, the Advance Care Planning forms will be updated to reflect those changes.

How we live our life is every bit as important on the last day as it is on any other day, so have a plan to make every moment count.

 

Listen to a recent radio appearance on local radio, KMMT on the importance of having an Advance Care Plan here.