Advance care planning ensures your health care wishes and preferences are met if you were unable to speak for yourself or make your own decisions. These wishes and preferences are spelled out in legal documents.
Many of us don’t like to think we’ll ever need such written plans. But having your desires spelled out relieves your family members and loved ones from wondering if they “did the right thing” on your behalf. It takes the guesswork off their shoulders and ensures you receive what you want when there is little likelihood of your recovery. It also spells out the care you desire from your health care team.
Illinois and Wisconsin state laws have created two forms of advance directives for health care. Both forms can legally provide for health care decision-making when you are no longer able to do so for yourself.
• Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Health Care
• Living Will Declaration Form
• Power of Attorney for Health Care
• Wisconsin Living Will (Declaration to Physicians)
Advance directives are important for all adults age 18 and older. The stakes may be higher for young people if there is a tragedy, and for those diagnosed with chronic illnesses such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, dementia, end-stage kidney disease, end-stage liver disease/cirrhosis, and metastatic (spreading) cancer.
Advance care planning takes more than just signing a document. It can be challenging for many of us, and so we put it off. Medical terms may be unfamiliar. We’re not sure of our options—or what we really want. We just don’t want to think about it.
That’s why Mercyhealth has a team of specially trained individuals called certified advance care planning facilitators. They are here to gently start the conversation with you and your loved ones.
Our facilitators offer free basic health care planning talks to help you:
Now is the time to think about your future. Mercyhealth’s certified advance care planning facilitators can help get you started.
To schedule your free basic health care planning talk, please call Mercyhealth Advance Care Services at (608) 756-8248.