Advance Care Planning

advanced-directiveSpeak For Yourself, Plan Your Care

Every adult has the right to decide what medical care they think is best for them. Planning your care ahead of time allows others to honor your choices even if you are unable to speak for yourself at any time. Advance Care Planning (ACP) lets you choose someone to be your advocate (speak for you) and tell health care providers what to do for you.

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance Care Planning is a process that helps you think about, understand, and talk about your health care choices with others important to you.  This type of planning will help your family, loved ones, and caregivers when you cannot speak for yourself. Making a plan that meets your needs means that others will not have to guess what they should do for you.

What is an advance directive?

Advance directives are written directions based on your planning. An advance directive allows you to give specific written instructions to healthcare providers and those that care about you. Advance directives let you maintain control over your future medical treatments. The advance directive will guide your patient advocate, loved ones, and your caregivers when you cannot speak for yourself.

For additional information regarding advance directives at Lakeland Health click here.

What is a facilitator?

Facilitators are people who are trained to help you identify what is important to you, help you make decisions about your future health care, and help you put your plan in writing. Your decisions may change over time so it is helpful to review your plan yearly or as needed if you are diagnosed with a serious illness or have a sudden serious brain injury.

The facilitator is skilled to help you clarify your personal values, beliefs, and preferences for end of life care. The meeting moves at your own pace, and there is no pressure to influence your treatment preferences. To request a facilitated ACP conversation please call (269) 429-7100 or (800) 717-3812 or

What is a patient advocate?

Patient advocates are picked by you, and are named in your advance directive. Choosing someone as your patient advocate means you trust this person to make difficult decisions and carry out your wishes.  This person accepts the role of making your health care decisions if you are unable. Patient advocates are named in a specific type of document called a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.

Naming your patient advocate and declaring your instructions for future health care needs completes your advance directive.

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