Advance Care Planning

An advance care plan is a document created by you outlining how you would like to be cared for in the future. It may outline what is important to you, what you want as you near the end of your life, what you value and believe, and what matters to you. You should talk to the important people in your life and your healthcare team when making an advance care plan so that everyone understands your wishes. This plan can outline what matters to you and how the people who care about you can best support you in the future.
An advance care plan can include how you would like to be cared for in later life:

  • What matters to you
    • What makes you happy
    • How you like to spend your time
    • What hobbies and interests you have
    • What routines you like
    • What is meaningful to you
    • Your cultural, religious, and spiritual rituals or beliefs
  • What worries you when you think of the future
  • Why you are making an advance care plan
  • How illness may change how you live your life, your independence, and what you may need to plan for
  • How you would like to make decisions, who will make decision on your behalf (EPA), and how involved you want your loved ones to be

It can also include how you would like to be treated at the end of your life:

  • What things you would like done to make you comfortable when you are dying
    • Pain relief and other medications for breathing and nausea
    • What you consider quality of life
    • Other comforts you may want
    • Where you would like to die
  • Whether you want treatment to be focused on keeping you alive as long as possible, keeping you comfortable, and if you have signed a do not resuscitate (DNR) form
  • Your wishes for after death
    • Whether you want to be an organ and tissue donor
    • Whether you would like to be buried or cremated
    • Your funeral wishes
    • Your final resting place
    • Where to find your will, financial records, and other important documents

You can find more information on advance care planning on the HQSC website. You can use this template and guide for creating your own advance care plan.