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Female doctor talking to elderly couple and taking notes

Advance Care Planning

You can speak up and have a say in your care.

Getting healthcare often involves choices that can impact your life and well-being.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) puts you in the driver's seat. It asks important care questions using two-way conversations and gives you space to make choices that are best for you.

Try one of these Carle resources to help you get started:

  • Schedule a free in-person visit with a certified Advance Care Planning facilitator at your primary care office.
  • Register for an ACP virtual event that fits your schedule. You'll get information and have a place to ask questions.
  • Play the "I Didn't Know That!" game as a simple way to start these conversations at home.

Email us at ACP@carle.com to learn more about this free service.


Advance Care Planning: Start the conversation today

There are four important actions every adult can take to be prepared.

  1. Think. Think about your care choices and decide what is best for you.
  2. Share. Share the choices you make with those who matter most to you. Sharing keeps you in charge at all times.
  3. Choose. Choose someone you trust to speak for you should you become unable to speak for yourself.
  4. Write. Write down your wishes on paper. We recommend completing a Power of Attorney for Health Care form. You might also choose to complete a Living Will form.

Think

Consider your care choices and the things that matter most to you. The below questsions will help you decide on choices that are best for you.

Consider

  • What brings meaning and happiness to your life? What brings joy or comfort?
  • What activities or hobbies are important to you?
  • Do you have spiritual or cultural activities/rituals that are important to you?

Reflect

  • Have you experienced a friend or family member being seriously ill or hurt and in the hospital? What did you learn from that experience?
  • How do you make important decisions?
  • In tough times, which person in your life do you trust the most to help you through and give you advice?
  • Which person in your life do you trust to give you advice about healthcare choices?

Determine

  • What do you understand about your health status or current illness (if you have one)?
  • What questions do you have for your healthcare provider regarding your health or current illness?
  • What fears or worries do you have about your future health?
  • If your health worsens, what are your personal goals in that situation? For example, would you want to focus on living as long as possible, maintaining your current health or being comfortable without receiving aggressive treatments that may not improve your quality of life?
  • If doctors told your loved ones that your chance of recovering from an illness was very slim and you would likely never be able to communicate with people around you, what would you want your loved ones to do – continue all possible treatments no matter what or stop aggressive treatment and keep you comfortable?

Share

Sharing your choices helps you to be in charge of your care at all times. By sharing with others, they will be informed and empowered to honor your wishes.

Choose

Choosing a healthcare agent is an important part of your care. This person is someone you trust to make your care choices when you can't speak for yourself. It's helpful to ask this person if they are willing to accept this role knowing it could be emotionally hard sometimes. You can pick more than one healthcare agent, but only one can be active in the role at a time. This role is also known as a Power of Attorney for Health Care.

Write

Your choices are best communicated in an advance directive. We recommend completing a Power of Attorney for Health Care form. You might also choose to complete a Living Will form. The Power of Attorney for Health Care form is used to provide the name and contact information of your healthcare agent.

If illness prevents you from expressing your prefrerences, advance directives help keep you in charge by assuring your choices are communicated and plans can be made based on what is important to you.
Power of Attorney for Health Care
Living Will

Witnessing

Advance directive forms must be signed by an adult witness to be valid. A witness can be a neighbor or friend who is not related to you or your healthcare agent(s). A witness cannot be your healthcare agent(s), a family member, or a health care practitioner caring for you. A notary public may serve as a witness, but a notary is not required. Most banks and public libraries offer free notary services for those they serve. For more information, see the witness statement section on the Advance Directive paperwork.

Submitting

Advance directives can be added to your medical record in one of these ways:

  • Upload to your MyCarle account. After signing into your account, select Advance Directives from the Health tab.
  • Mail a copy to Health Information Management at 611 W. Park St, Urbana, IL 61801, ATTN: HIM/ACP.
  • Bring a copy to your next appointment at Carle.

Click Advance Care Planning for Every Adult to download a printable version of this page.

In accordance with Illinois Public Act 102-0794, Carle Health will consider the presentation of an electronic device displaying an electronic copy of an executed form as proof of the health care agency.

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