Creating an advance care plan is most likely not how you’ve spent past Valentine’s days. Planning, however, is a valuable way to show consideration and love for those you care for most. This year, we want to encourage you to give the gift of peace of mind through conversations and documentation of your care and end-of-life wishes. Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the process of discussing and documenting your health care wishes to help ensure you’ll receive value-aligned treatment when you need it most.
Fewer than one in three Americans have advance directives in place; thus, too often, the burden of decision-making falls to loved ones. Allowing the responsibility of your care decisions to fall to loved ones is unfair to both you – and, to those you love most. Familial tension is likely to increase as your loved ones each grapple with hypotheticals and best guesses for what you want; and, you are less likely to receive the care you want without a clear and accessible plan in place. An advance care plan gives your loved ones peace of mind, reduces unnecessary conflict through difficult periods, such as when your health declines, and can provide you with comfort that you are being honored and cared for as you wish. This peace of mind allows families to focus on what is most important- you and your health.
Of course, neither you nor your loved ones want to be playing a guessing game when it comes to health care and end-of-life wishes. Get an advance care plan in place this year, and show your love long past February 14th. As a member of the Aging at Home Association, you have access to discounted advance care planning services and supports through our partner, Trust & Will. Login to your member account to access this benefit, and give the gift of planning and peace of mind this Valentine’s Day!