July 2024

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Health Capsule

Step-by-Step Guide to Advance Care Planning

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As we get older, it’s important to plan for future decisions about medical care. And it’s a good idea to discuss those decisions with loved ones. This is called advance care planning.

Advance care planning includes preparing documents like a living will. This tells doctors how you want to be treated if you can’t make your own decisions about emergency care. 

Research shows that you’re more likely to get the care you want if you’ve discussed your future medical care and put a plan in place. It may also help loved ones with their grief and to feel less burden and guilt.

NIH has created a seven-week email series to help older adults and caregivers create an advance care plan. It’s called “Ready, Set, Plan! A Step-by-Step Guide to Advance Care Planning.” The subscription is free.

Subscribers receive weekly emails. These help you consider your preferences for future care and treatment. You’ll learn about the common medical decisions living wills cover. And you’ll learn about the responsibilities of a health care proxy. That’s someone who can make medical decisions for you when needed. The emails will also help you prepare to talk with a health care provider about your plan. Sign up now for the emails and read more about advance care planning.

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