Prepare to Be Heard
Does your family know you would want that person to speak for you?
And does that person know what your wishes are should it come down to quality of life versus quantity?
An advance directive answers all these questions in a written document. It lets your loved ones, doctors and SCAN know the kind and extent of care you want to receive if you can’t speak for yourself. But as important as it is, an advance directive doesn’t have to be complicated. You can simply and clearly spell out your wishes in a few steps.
- Think about who you trust to be your “healthcare proxy.” Talk with that person to make sure they are willing to represent you and your wishes if you are ever unable to speak for yourself. Then, discuss what’s important to you, including the kinds of care you would want—or not want—if illness or injury threaten your life. Your other loved ones should also know this information, so they’re not surprised. Talking about these things now can help avoid misunderstandings, hurt feelings and hard decisions for the people who care about you.
- Put your wishes in writing. One of the simplest ways to do this is to use the advance directive form and step-by-step instructions available at prepareforyourcare.org.
- Give a copy of your advance directive to your healthcare proxy and your doctor. Also, let your loved ones know you have one. And don’t forget to keep a copy for yourself with your other important medical papers.
A Community to Help
SCAN Learning Communities offer the Are You Prepared? workshop on a regular basis. You’ll hear from expert speakers and fellow SCAN members who can provide guidance and inspiration for creating an advance directive that reflects your wishes.
Are You Prepared meets for an hour on the last Tuesday of every quarter. Find out more at scanhealthplan.com/events
“I’m enjoying your thoughts on this topic; it’s really helping me.”— Are You Prepared workshop participant