Need Help With Advance Care Planning? Just Ask Us
Caring for you means much more than fixing your meals and helping with housework.
Of course, those are some of the wonderful benefits of living in an assisted living community in Bladenboro such as West Bladen.
But we take things a step further.
You see, we believe in being a useful resource for you, particularly when it comes to advance care planning. This is one of the most important documents you’ll complete in your life, and it’s not something to be taken lightly.
You may be wondering what is advanced care planning and why it’s so vital for making your wishes known. That’s why we’ve created this useful guide to help you.
What is Advance Care Planning?
Advance care planning is a set of directives you create to let others know about your health care wishes if you are too sick to make them known. By planning ahead, you not only ensure that you get the type of medical care you want, but you give your loved ones the peace of mind knowing that they have fulfilled your wishes.
What Does Advanced Care Planning Include?
Typically, these include Advanced Directives, which make your health care wishes known. Please note that these do not go into effect until you are unable to express your wishes yourself.
These Advance Directives may include:
A Health Care Power of Attorney
This enables you to name someone to make health care decisions for you if you are incapacitated or unable to make them yourself.
A Living Will
This states that you do not want to have your life prolonged by extraordinary measures in the event you have a serious, incurable illness or if, for some reason, you are in a persistent, vegetative state.
Instructions for Mental Health Treatment
This provides instructions for how you desire to receive, or not receive, mental health treatment.
Declaration of Anatomical Gift
This notifies that you would like to be an organ donor.
When Should You Have an Advance Care Plan?
Some people believe you should be at retirement age before you start an advanced care plan. Others believe it should only be after you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness.
However, everyone over the age of 18 should have an advanced care plan to help them prepare for the unexpected. The time to be ready for an emergency situation is before that situation occurs.
Is It Difficult to Start the Process of Getting an Advanced Directive?
No. In fact you can easily download the forms you need from the NC Secretary of State’s office.
However, remember that you will need to have the forms notarized and witnessed in order for them to be legally binding. There are also qualifications for those who witness your signature; They cannot be relatives, and they cannot be anyone who would inherit anything after your death.
5 Steps for Starting Your Advanced Care Plan
We know all of this information can seem overwhelming, so we’ve broken it down into basic steps for you.
Starting Your Advance Care Plan? 5 Steps You Should Follow
1. Talk to Us
While we cannot serve as notaries or attorneys, we can point you in the direction of those who can help you and guide you through the process.
2. Consider Your Wishes
Take time to envision how you would like your health care to be handled if you’re unable to make your wishes known. Do you want to have extraordinary measures performed to save your life? Do you want CPR? All these are important aspects of your plan that you should consider.
3. Talk to Your Family
Ultimately, your wishes are your decision, but it’s important to have meaningful conversations and discussions with your family. By having these conversations before an emergency occurs, you’ll provide everyone with the peace of mind that comes from having known what to do in a crisis situation.
4. Speak to Your Health Care Team
Make sure that your doctor and members of your health care team are aware that you have an Advance Directive and how it aligns with your condition and treatment options. If you are sick or have a serious illness, this is also a good time to talk to your doctors about your treatment options and goals.
Remember that it may be important to revisit these goals over time, particularly if your condition should happen to change.
5. Seek Legal Advice As Appropriate
You may have more questions about an Advance Directive and advance care planning. Some of these are best answered by an attorney or from someone who specializes in Advance Directives.
You can also glean a lot of important information through this PDF publication from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Advanced Directives: An Important Part of Your Life Planning
At West Bladen, we understand how important it is for your wishes to be respected, whether that be your health care decisions or your desire for quality, compassionate assisted living care in Bladenboro.
We invite you to see what makes our community different. From our excellent, friendly staff to our delicious meals to our wide range of activities, we ensure that there’s something for everyone at West Bladen.
We invite you to contact us to schedule a tour. But hurry! Our spaces fill quickly.