Follow this LINK to a helpful video about creating your plan.

  1. Have the “TALK” while you can speak for yourself, and“BEFORE” difficult medical or financial decisions arise.  Clarify preferences with an Advance Care Plan or other legal document.  Everyone 18 years & older needs to “TALK”.
  2. Choose a trusted advocate to speak for you and make decisions about your medical and/or mental health care when you can’t.  One person can be your medical & financial advocate, or they may be different persons.  Advocates must be at least 18, and do not need to be family members or live in the same State.  Without an Advance Care Plan, a medical team is legally required to ask next-of-kin. 
  3. Your Advance Care Plan should make clear your wishes on these questions:i>
    • What’s important for you to live well?
    • What type of care is important to you as your health declines?
    • Would you like to receive CPR if your heart stops, or you stop breathing?
    • Would you consider being on a ventilator/breathing machine?
    • Would you consider a temporary or permanent feeding tube?
    • Are you an organ donor?
    • Where would you like to live?
  4. Learn key medical terms and practices:  DNR (do not resuscitate), CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), what is a ventilator, and what type of care is given by social worker, hospice worker or primary care provider.
  5. Have documents ready:
    • Advance Care Planning (no attorney required) or 
    • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (attorney required) & is effective when you can no longer make your own medical decisions. 
    • Financial Durable Power of Attorney or Will gives authorization to your advocate for financial and property but NOT medical decisions.

    NOTE:  Two adult witnesses (18 years or older) must sign and date the documents on the same day as you.

  6. Tell your advocate where you keep your Advance Care Plan and other legal documents.  Give copies to your healthcare Provider and hospital.
  7. REVIEW Advance Care Plan and legal documents when there are changes to your preferences, your patient advocate, your residence, your diagnosis, or your health significantly declines.
  8. Advance Care Plans may also be used for temporary medical situation from which you expect to fully recover.  When you recover, you return to making your own decisions.

Your friends at Cadillac Family Physicians PC have provided this booklet available for download “Making Your Medical Wishes Known,” to help you discuss and create an Advance Care Plan.  PLAN YOUR “TALK”. Download or request your free your booklet at your next visit to the office.