Advance Care Planning

Anyone can be suddenly impacted by an accident or an illness with a risk of becoming incapacitated and unable to make decisions regarding medical treatment. It is highly recommended that all persons, not only the elderly and those who are sick, make a plan for such a situation.

 Advance Care Planning (ACP) allows patients to have control over the life-prolonging treatment they receive for a serious illness or accident. Your plan will include choosing someone to be your medical decision-maker, determining and documenting your treatment wishes, and speaking to loved ones about your choices.

It can be hard to talk about serious illness with the people we love as is shown in this video.

Advance care planning may seem difficult for many people, but there are helpful resources available to assist in the process that are found below. You may also visit the National POLST website here for additional resources.

  • Prepare for Your Care, an interactive website serving as a resource for families navigating medical decision making.
    Here you can access an English or Spanish language Pennsylvania Advance Health Care Directive and complete a form in which you choose you medical decision maker and the kind of health care you want.
  • The Conversation Project, created with a goal to have every person's wishes for end-of-life care expressed and respected. Users may access the project’s “Starter Kit” at the site.
  •  My Directives helps a user to create, share and store an ACP directive.
  • Five Wishes is an approach to discussing and documenting your care and comfort choices. It's about connecting families, communicating with healthcare providers, and showing your community what it means to care for one another.

You and your family can begin the conversation today and take steps to complete your own personal advance care plan to ensure your wishes are communicated. The time to plan is now.