|Photo by programwitch via Creative Commons.|
Under Dr. Valadares' direction, I was able to participate in Advanced Care Planning (ACP) with my students (Health Care Continuum & Community Services). Sometimes people call ACP by other names, such as Living Will or Advanced Directive.
News report on ACP Grant
USI's description of this project
These are legal documents for establishing whether or not you want curative care or specific types of medical interventions such as CPR, a breathing tube, a feeding tube, or even antibiotics in the case of pneumonia or another infection.
Many people recoil from having such conversations. However, others have watched families struggle to determine how to respond to a serious medical problem suffered by a loved one who can no longer express his or her wishes.
Even a very young person can suffer a life-threatening injury or acute medical condition. While people of any age can live with a chronic illness, this is more prevalent among older adults. As a gerontologist, I have observed many people who have a chronic condition that takes a turn for the worse, rendering them incapable of articulated their wishes.
How Can You Learn about Advanced Care Planning?
I recently went through the Prepare for Your Care resource. The Regents of the University of California host this site, but experts from a variety of universities, hospitals, and other organizations have helped prepare the information.
Here is their statement:
"PREPARE for Your Care is an online resource that helps people learn about and prepare for medical decision making. This evidenced-based tool features video stories in English and Spanish and guides users as they explore their wishes and learn how to discuss them with family, friends, and medical providers.
The website also offers PREPARE written pamphlets as well as a Toolkit to help put on a PREPARE Group Movie Event.
These Movie Events can be used in group medical visits or in the community. PREPARE also offers easy-to-read, legally binding advance directives for all 50 states in English and Spanish."