VA Caregiver Support Program
Advance Care Planning
Advance Care Planning
Advanced care planning allows you to make your health care wishes known and to assign someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you are not able. An advanced directive is a tool to document your wishes
Benefits of Advanced Care Planning:
– Allows you to have a voice in your medical care when you cannot speak for yourself.
– Caregivere or family members will not be burdened by being unsure of what you want medically.
– Distressed and emotional caregivers or family members can avoid the conflict of decision making, and can be there to support you and one another.
– Discussing these important topics can bring people closer by improving understanding of your values and wishes
Advance Care Planning Resources:
- Starting the Conversation: Advanced Care Planning (PDF)
- Understanding Long-Term Care Options (PDF)
- Educational Handout: What You Should Know About Advance Directives (PDF)
- Worksheet: Mental Health Care Preferences (DOC) - (Attach to your VA Advance Directive Form. Initial and date each page)
- Podcast: What's An Advance Directive, and Why Should I Complete One? (6:35)
- Podcast: Choosing A Health Care Agent (5:36)
- Podcast: I’ve Been Chosen as A Health Care Agent – Now What? (4:50)
- YouTube: What Matters Most? Supporting You with Advance Care Planning
- Workbook: Planning for Future Health Care Decisions (PDF)
- Website: Geriatrics & Extended Care - Advance Care Planning https://www.va.gov/geriatrics/pages/advance_care_planning_topics.asp
- Website: Social Work - National Advance Care Planning via Group Visits (ACP-GV) Program: https://www.socialwork.va.gov/ACP_GV.asp
- Website: Social Work - Directory of ACP-GV Site Leads: https://www.socialwork.va.gov/ACP-GV_Site_Leads.asp
Every adult over the age of 18 should take some time to consider the difficult questions that occur in advance care planning. Still, it is especially critical if they have been diagnosed with a chronic disease. Advance care planning provides documented directions for healthcare providers, caregivers, and family members, that support the patient’s wishes and identifies a person who can advocate for their wishes if they are unable to for themself.
Advance care planning documents are available through VA providers or by visiting Advance Care Planning - Geriatrics and Extended Care. Non-Veterans may also want to visit CaringInfo: Resources for Serious Illness & End-of-Life Care* for more information.
Call VA’s Caregiver Support Line (CSL) at 1-855-260-3274 to learn more about the support that is available to you, and for assistance connecting with the Caregiver Support Team, at your local VA Medical Center.
VA CSL Expanded hours:
-Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET
-Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
Your local Caregiver Support Team are licensed professionals who can support you by matching you with services for which you are eligible, and providing you with valuable information about resources that can help you stay smart, strong and organized as you care for the Veteran you love.
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