Advance Care Planning

The goal of advance care planning (ACP) is to allow patients to retain control over the life-prolonging treatment they receive. It is highly recommended that all persons, not only the elderly and those who are ill, complete their plan. This includes choosing your medical decision maker, determining what matter most, documenting your wishes and speaking to loved ones about your choices.

Anyone can be suddenly impacted by an accident or an illness with a risk of becoming incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions. Your advance care plan documents helps guide treatment decisions so you can receive the care you want. ACP can help your loved ones make decisions for you if you become unable to do so.

Advance care planning may seem very challenging for many people, but there are helpful resources available to assist in the process.

  • 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 planning documents to ensure your wished are communicated. The time to plan is now.