Advance care planning is a way to help you plan and document your wishes for the type of healthcare you want now and in the future. Advance care planning is a process where you do the following:
- Think about values and wishes for medical treatments you may or may not want.
- Talk about your healthcare goals.
- Make a plan that reflects your values and wishes.
- Put your plan in writing (document your plan).
Who is it for?
Advance care planning is for every Albertan who is age 18 or older. It’s especially important for people who:
- have a chronic (long-term) illness, including early cognitive impairment (such as dementia)
- have more than 1 health problem
- are older
Advance care planning is also important for people who are healthy. If something happens suddenly (such as an injury) or your health changes and you can’t make decisions about your healthcare, planning ahead makes sure the right people know your wishes.
What are the benefits?
If there’s a time when you can’t speak for yourself, it’s important that your loved ones and your healthcare team understand your wishes for healthcare. No one knows what tomorrow might bring or how your health will be in the future. Planning ahead helps make things easier for you and the people who are important to you.
Making your plan today:
- makes sure that your loved ones and healthcare team know your wishes, no matter what happens
- can bring comfort and less worry to you and the people who may have to make healthcare decisions for you
When should I start?
It’s important to start talking about your healthcare wishes now, before you have a health crisis. But remember that it’s never too late to start making your plan.