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Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is making decisions about the care you would want to receive if you become unable to speak for yourself. These are your decisions to make, regardless of what you choose for your care, and the decisions are based on your personal values, preferences, and discussions with your loved ones.  Find information and resources below on advance care planning.

Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

In Dying in America, a consensus report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a committee of experts finds that improving the quality and availability of medical and social services for patients and their families could not only enhance quality of life through the end of life, but may also contribute to a more sustainable care system. This report was recently made into a podcast series available here.  For further information, view the Powerpoint given by Judith R. Peres, LCSW-C, on the report at the Consumer Voice Annual Conference.

FAST FACTS: Advance Care Planning

This consumer fact sheet from Advancing Excellence explains the importance of advance planning for care after a debilitating illness or at the end of life. 

Making Your Wishes Known: Advance Care Planning and the Legal Landscape

This Powerpoint, presented by Charles P. Sabatino, JD at the 2014 Consumer Voice Annual Conference, covers how laws and regulations influence advance care planning.  It covers the legislative history, what advance directives can and can't do, and several approaches to developing advance directives.

10 FAQs: Medicare's Role in End-of-Life Care (December 2015) 

Created by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. This FAQ sheet can help better understand the largest insurer of health care provided during the last year of life. This information will help explain the coverage that is offered, changes to be made in the future, and cost. In addition, these FAQs describe recent relevant rules released by the Administration and additional proposals from Congress regarding advance care planning and care for people with serious and terminal illness.

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

The POLST system converts patient preferences for life-sustaining treatment into actionable medical orders by providing clear instructions as to what treatments the patient would like as it relates to the use of:

  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
  • antibiotics and IV fluids,
  • a ventilator to help with breathing, and
  • artificial nutrition by tube.

POLST provides the individual with the opportunity to document his/her treatment goals and preferences, thus permitting increased individualization.

Find POLST programs in your state. Click here to find educational materials, forms and brochures about the state's POLST program. 

State Health Care Power of Attorney Statutes

This chart, from the American Bar Association updated as of January 2019, provides generalizations of statutory language state by state for healthcare power of attorney statutes.

Advance Care Planning for Residents - Role and Responsibilities of Long-Term Care Ombudsmen

This webinar discusses how long-term care ombudsmen can best support a resident who wants to do advance care planning, or for those residents whose wishes are not being respected by the facility, family, or friends, as well as what resources are available for information sharing and advocacy.  Click here to view the slides and here for the recording.

NORC Advance Care Planning and End of Life Issue Page

Find more information and resources on advance care planning and end of life issues on NORC's issue page.