Planning for future healthcare in advance is essential in preparing for the future. It helps a person receive the health care they would like if they became seriously sick and could not make decisions and explain their preferences. Advance Care Planning is mainly associated with the elderly; however, it is crucial for young and healthy people. Since serious injury, accident, or sickness can happen to anyone. Planning relates to the care that one receives at the end of their life and helps family and healthcare providers know their health and personal preferences.
Advance Care Planning process
This involves various simple steps that one is required to follow. Everyone above the age of eighteen years is recommended to have a plan. One is required to think critically about their values and health and care preferences when they can still communicate with others. After thinking about the preferences, one should discuss them with close relatives and medical personnel and write them down. It is important to ensure that the preferences are accessible to doctors and clear and easily understood by loved ones.
Factors to consider when creating an advance care plan
It is important to consider various factors that help one make the right decisions. It is important to consider past healthcare experiences that may have an influence on a person's care in the future. One should carefully evaluate and understand their current health and how it affects their life. It is also crucial to evaluate and think about the future, short and long-term goals, and the type of treatments that will help one live the way they want to live their life. The following link provides the important factors to consider when creating an advance care plan: https://www.advancecareplanning.org.au/understand-advance-care-planning/
Communicate with relatives
One must communicate with their family on their preferences to make it easy for them to respect and honor the decisions. It is important to note that having a close relationship with loved ones does not necessarily mean knowing a person's preferences. Hence it is important to communicate with them early enough to make it easy for them to guide and implement your medical treatment. In addition, talking to a medical professional is important because they can give advice and information about a person’s current and future health situation.
It is important to select a substitute decision-maker; the person helps one make decisions when they cannot do so on their own. The person can either be a relative or a legal representative, depending on a person's preferences. A substitute decision-maker should be over eighteen years, dependable, trustable, and understand their role. After following all the steps in planning advance care, it is important to record all the information in documents. The written documents are known as Advance Directives; they give health care wishes.
The importance of Advance care Planning
Advance Care Planning is the best way for a person to ensure that their wishes are met. It also provides family and relatives the assurance that they are honoring and fulfilling a loved one's wishes. Planning in advance helps a person decide the type of care they want to receive when they can no longer speak for themselves. It helps reduce anxiety, stress, and depression for families since they have documented the wishes of their loved ones.
In conclusion, Advance Care Planning is meant not only for the elderly but also for everyone, both young and old. Sickness or accident can happen to anyone irrespective of their age and leave them too sick to make decisions independently. Planning in advance enables a person to receive the care they would wish if they could not communicate their preferences. Therefore, it is important to make decisions and plan for future healthcare even if one is not sick or injured.