What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance care planning refers to when you think ahead about what your health care wishes would be if you were unable to speak for yourself at any time in the future, and communicate those wishes to your loved ones and your medical team. Advance care planning is important for people of all ages because anything can happen to anyone at any time like an accident or a stroke, and having a plan in place can help ensure that your healthcare wishes can be known and honored in any situation. Advance Care Planning is a gift you give to your loved ones.

What are advance directives?

Advance Directives are legal documents that provide instructions about your healthcare wishes, in case you are unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself.

There are two primary types of Advance Directives in the state of Ohio, (1) Health Care Power of Attorney and (2) Living Will.

  • A Health Care Power of Attorney is a type of Advance Directive in which you name a person to make decisions and speak for you when you are unable to speak for yourself, either permanently or temporarily (i.e., under general anesthesia, under sedation, unconscious, in a coma or a delirium, etc.).
  • A Living Will is a written set of instructions regarding your preferences for healthcare at the end of life and goes into effect if you are terminally ill and unable to make decision for yourself, or if you are permanently unconscious.

As long as you are able to make your own health care decisions, the documents will not be used.