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Integrity Point of View Articles

What Matters: Advanced Care Planning

By: Integrity Home Care + Hospice

Giving the Gift

Each of us come from different backgrounds, have varied experiences, and live with unique medical histories. Leaving our medical choices to providers who are unfamiliar with us or leaving those choices to family or friends that are unsure of our wishes, can be risky. In fact, it does everyone involved a disservice. Many families facing decisions for their loved ones without knowing their wishes, feel burdened, stressed and overwhelmed by the decisions facing them. The best gift we can give them is to have a conversation about an Advanced Care Plan.

The Conversation

Ask Yourself:

  • If a sudden event happened tomorrow that left you without the ability to communicate, would your loved ones make appropriate decisions for you?
  • If a healthcare provider suggested you have a very small chance of recovering to the point of knowing who your family is, have you communicated with those you trust to make decisions for you? Do they know what your wishes would be?

End of life care decisions are often emotionally charged, but they don’t have to be. Give the gift of removing the weight of that burden from your loved ones and those you care for.

Navigating the Next Steps

Someone To Guide The Conversation

This could be your primary care physician, social worker, nurse or trained facilitator to walk you through some of the tough decisions listed on an advanced care plan. At Integrity, our Client Advocates and social workers and end-of-life nurses are available to guide you and our clients through these conversations.

Health Care Agent

Someone you can trust to uphold the decisions you make during your conversations. When possible, this person should attend these conversations with you.

The Paperwork

An Advanced Care Plan, Advanced Directive, Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, all address the same things. These types of paperwork document your wishes for someone to speak your decisions, if you can’t speak for yourself.

Notary

For the paperwork to be recognized, it must be notarized. In the event your conversation guide is not a notary, they will connect you with the community resources to notarize your documents.

Make It Accessible

If no one knows that your plan exists, it can’t help you or your loved ones. Don’t store the only copy in a box. Bring a copy to your primary care physician, to the hospital, give copies to your families, and even consider keeping a copy in your glove box! The more people that know your wishes, the better chance those wishes will be followed.

The Integrity Difference

At Integrity, we are dedicated to helping you, along with the clients we serve, with the tough decisions. Our skilled health care professionals on our Care Navigation team, along with our social workers and skilled clinicians are available to assist with Advanced Care Planning. We can start the conversation, help facilitate the paperwork and ensure you or your client’s wishes are available to those who matter most. We’re here with you, there for you, all along the way. CareNavigation@integrityhc.com.