If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that life is full of unexpected turns. We’ve seen on the news every day all the reasons why we need to plan ahead of a crisis. With that in mind, it's important to create an advance care plan to let your family know what your medical whishes are if you are unable to speak for yourself. Have you given each other the gift of an honest discussion about what would be important to you, and who you would want to speak for you if you couldn’t speak for yourself?
When you prepare those who will be speaking for you so that they can be your voice, you’re lifting much of the pressure, guilt, and worry from their shoulders. By talking about your wishes ahead of a crisis, it allows everyone to be on the same page.
Everyone 18 and up should have an advance care plan. Naming people you trust to speak for you and talking with them about your preferences in case of a serious accident or illness are the basics. All of it can and should be reviewed and updated throughout your lifetime. Having copies available in case of emergency will further help those who love you.
If you are interested in developing an advance care plan, Caring Circle has specially-trained facilitators available to walk families through these conversations and help in creating their documents. For more information, go to spectrumhealthlakeland.org/acp or call 269.983.8166