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Advance care planning is a way to think about, plan, and document your wishes for healthcare now and in the future.
Advance Care Planning is for every adult (18 years and older). It’s important for everyone but even more important if you have health issues.
Advance care planning tells your family and doctor your wishes about life support and other medical treatment. As a part of your advance care planning, it is important to appoint a person (called a substitute decision-maker or a health care agent) who can make treatment decisions for you when you can no longer speak for yourself.
If you do not have an advance care plan, decisions about your medical care may be made by someone who doesn't know you or what you would want.
It may help to think of an advance care plan as a gift to the people who care for you. If you have one, they won't have to make tough decisions by themselves.
In Alberta, a personal directive is part of advance care planning. This is a legal document that names a person you trust to make personal and healthcare decisions for you (your agent). In your personal directive you write things such as:
Your personal directive only comes into effect if you’re too sick or injured to make decisions for yourself. It’s important to review your personal directive and make changes (if you need to) any time your health, wishes, or values change.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
For more information about advance care planning, please visit: Advance Care Planning Alberta Health Services.
It may be hard to know what to include in your advance care plan . Use the questions below to help you get started.
Be sure to contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter R264 in the search box to learn more about "Advance Care Plans: Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 8/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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