Advance Care Plans, Directives & Decision Makers


You may not always be able to make your own decisions about the healthcare that you receive. It is important to think about planning for the way you wish to be cared for. There are several ways to make your wishes known.

Advance care planning

Advance care planning gives you the opportunity to consider your beliefs and feelings and make your wishes known to those you love and trust.

Choosing someone to be your substitute decision maker can help make things easier on your loved ones if you become unable to communicate or make your wishes known.

Substitute Decision Maker

If your illness makes it hard for you to understand the decisions that need to be made, it is very helpful to have someone you love and trust advocate for you.

Your substitute decision make should be someone who:

  • You trust.
  • Knows and understands your wishes.
  • Is willing, able and available to make decisions for you. 

Your substitute decision maker may have to speak for you in such circumstances as:

  • You are in a permanent coma, you have a terminal illness, stroke or dementia.
  • An important treatment decision such as surgery or tube feeding.
  • Admitting you to a Long Term Care facility.

Advance care directives

An advance care directive is a document that clearly details the type of medical care and treatment you want for yourself. It gives your substitute decision maker the confidence that they are making the decisions you want. It can also help to reduce your loved one's stress or conflict about making such decisions.

There are two kinds of advance care directives:

  • Living wills can be a simple document where you name the person you want as your secondary or substitute decision maker and write down your wishes so they are clear.
  • Power of Attorney for personal care names your secondary decision maker and gives that person the power to make decisions about your healthcare and treatments. You do not have to consult a lawyer for a power of attorney to be valid, however it is recommended.




Contact Us: