Advance care planning is the process of making your wishes, preferences, and goals known regarding your future medical care. This includes legal documents which outline how you would want your care administered should something happen that leaves you incapable of making these decisions for yourself. Even if you are currently in good health, a medical crisis could happen to any of us, at any age, leaving you incapacitated to make decisions for yourself.

It’s important to learn about your options ahead of time and make your wishes known. A way to do so is by creating a legal document, known as an advance directive. An advance directive only goes into effect if you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself, whether due to serious injury, illness, or disease.

One part of your advance directive may be a living will. A living will details the treatment you wish to receive if you are unable to communicate. This document also allows you to make decisions on the use of emergency treatments to keep you alive during an event. This can include whether CPR will be used if your heart stops, the use of a ventilator should you be unable to breathe on your own, nutritional decisions near end of life, and comfort care when you are suffering.

Your advance directive may also designate a durable power of attorney to act as your agent when you’re unable to make decisions. This would allow someone you trust to act on your behalf and handle things like making healthcare decisions, managing finances and properties, and apply for government benefits, depending on the scope of the power of attorney you grant.

Once you’ve completed your advance care planning, it’s important to occasionally revisit when new life events occur. Any decline in health, new diagnosis, marriage/divorce, or death would warrant revisiting your plans.

Making these decisions for the future can be scary, and there may be things that you have not considered. Sometimes, starting this discussion with your aging loved ones can be challenging because it is difficult to know how to begin. As experts in aging, our team has worked closely with older adults and their families to work through these and other aging related concerns together. We work closely with a trusted network of legal and financial experts to help ensure you’re in good hands for the future.

Reach out today by phone at 585-787-0009 or email us at to find out how we can help you and your loved ones.