Lifelong Health

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Advance Care Planning Communicates Care Decisions

At any age, you may have specific intentions when it comes to your healthcare – and the medical treatments that may be needed if severe illness occurs. Advance care planning will communicate anything from how you want to live out your last days to how you want to live out a more extended final phase of life. Putting your choices in writing guides your medical decisions when you may be unable to communicate your wishes if a serious medical event occurs, including:

  • Advanced cancer
  • Advanced diseases such as COPD or heart failure
  • Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias
  • Hospice care
  • Palliative care
  • Serious illness such as stroke or diabetes complications
  • Severe injury

Through research and thoughtful planning, you learn about types of healthcare decisions that may need to be made – and communicate your wishes through a legal document. This document is an advance directive and will be in place if you are too ill to make your own decisions. Documentation should include decisions involving emergency treatments or medical treatments to prolong life such as CPR, ventilator use or artificial nutrition. You may also include comfort care decisions about hospice and palliative care to relieve pain or suffering.  

Quality of Life Provides Meaningful Years

Thinking through what makes your life meaningful will lead your thoughts on advance care planning for your senior years. If you already have an advance directive in place, perhaps from decades ago, it may be time to review because needs and preferences change over time. Talk to your doctor about your current health and understand how recent illnesses or chronic diseases may progress. You can direct your quality of life as you age, making sure your preferences and values are in place.

Learn More with Advance Care Planning Resources

Riverside Health System provides additional resources to guide your advance care planning decisions. Learn more through detailed Advance Directives information, discussion guides and workbooks, including frequently asked questions. Useful resources are also available from national agencies, including:

We Can Answer your Questions

If you have questions about advance care planning for seniors, contact one of our Riverside team members at 1-888-597-0828 or email [email protected].