Gundersen Health System believes that advance care planning (ACP) is an important part of quality healthcare. It helps those closest to you and your healthcare team provide the best care when you're unable.
All adults should start with basic ACP. Meaningful conversation is the best way to begin to plan for future healthcare decisions. Important considerations include understanding the decisions that need to be considered, reflecting on values and goals and discussing choices with those close to you.
Most adults should use a written plan called an advance directive that includes a power of attorney for healthcare (POAHC). Legal documents are the best way to make sure your wishes are followed.
A POAHC allows an individual to appoint a trustworthy person to make medical decisions if they become incapable. The person(s) named will serve as healthcare agent(s). You can also include specific instructions about what medical care you do and do not want.
A healthcare agent should be willing to serve, know what you would want if you could make your own choices, should be able to make those choices for you even if he or she does not agree with them and should be able to make difficult healthcare decisions when stressed or upset.
Gundersen Boscobel offers trained facilitators who, at no cost, can guide individuals through advance care planning. The facilitators can help you complete documents and are trained to lead discussions about sensitive matters. Proposed healthcare agent(s) should also attend meetings.
Individuals should review their advance directives every few years as their goals, values and health changes.
To learn more, visit gundersenhealth.org/patients-visitors/advance-care-planning/#ACP. To connect with an ACP facilitator, please call (608) 375-4112.
Meetings are available in Boscobel, Fennimore, and Muscoda.
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