Advance Care Planning – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Elderly Legal and Financial Planning Glossary

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance Care Planning is a process that involves making decisions about the medical care and treatment a person would want to receive in the event that they become unable to communicate their wishes. This process allows individuals to document their preferences for medical care, appoint a healthcare proxy to make decisions on their behalf, and ensure that their wishes are respected.

Why is Advance Care Planning important for elderly individuals?

Advance Care Planning is particularly important for elderly individuals as they are more likely to experience serious illnesses or medical emergencies. By engaging in Advance Care Planning, elderly individuals can ensure that their preferences for medical care are known and respected, even if they are unable to communicate them at the time.

How does Advance Care Planning differ from a living will?

While Advance Care Planning and a living will both involve making decisions about medical care in advance, there are some key differences between the two. A living will is a legal document that outlines a person’s preferences for medical treatment in specific situations, such as life-sustaining measures or end-of-life care. Advance Care Planning, on the other hand, is a broader process that involves discussing and documenting a person’s values, goals, and preferences for medical care in a variety of situations.

Who should be involved in the Advance Care Planning process?

The Advance Care Planning process should involve the individual, their healthcare provider, and their loved ones. It is important for the individual to communicate their wishes and preferences for medical care to their healthcare provider, who can help guide the decision-making process and ensure that the individual’s wishes are documented and respected. Loved ones can also play a role in supporting the individual and advocating for their preferences.

What legal documents are involved in Advance Care Planning?

There are several legal documents that are commonly used in Advance Care Planning, including a healthcare proxy or durable power of attorney for healthcare, a living will, and a do not resuscitate (DNR) order. A healthcare proxy allows an individual to appoint a trusted person to make medical decisions on their behalf if they become unable to do so. A living will outlines the individual’s preferences for medical treatment, and a DNR order specifies whether the individual wants to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of cardiac arrest.

How can Advance Care Planning help with financial planning for elderly individuals?

Advance Care Planning can also play a role in financial planning for elderly individuals. By documenting their preferences for medical care and appointing a healthcare proxy, individuals can ensure that their healthcare decisions align with their financial goals and resources. This can help prevent unnecessary medical expenses and ensure that the individual’s financial resources are used in accordance with their wishes for medical care. Additionally, Advance Care Planning can help individuals and their loved ones plan for long-term care needs and make informed decisions about insurance coverage and other financial matters.