Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning is preparing for future medical care in case you are unable to make your own care decisions. This is the best way to communicate your treatment preferences, life-sustaining care, and other health care decisions to your family, friends, and health care providers.

Advance directives give you the ability to exercise your right to participate in the planning of your medical care even when you lose the capacity to make decisions on your own. Some examples of Advance Directives are:

  • Health Care Proxy: A legal document that lets you select someone on your behalf to make decisions about your health care, including life-sustaining treatment if you become unable to make those decisions yourself.
  • Living Will: This document lets you state your health care wishes in writing in the event that you can no longer speak for yourself. This will protect your right to refuse medical treatment you do not want, or to request treatment you do want. It also allows you to record your organ donation, pain relief, funeral, and other advance planning wishes.

How to complete Advance Directives in FIVE easy steps:

  1. An AgeWell New York Care Manager can help you learn about Advance Care Planning and how to complete Advance Directives.
  2. Talk with your family, friends, doctors, and health plan (AgeWell New York) about your health care wishes. Make sure to discuss the following questions:
    • What care and treatments do you want?
    • What type of care and treatments do you not want?
    • Who will speak for you when you can’t?
  1. Choose a spokesperson (agent). Be sure the person you appoint to make decisions on your behalf understands your wishes.
  2. Complete a Health Care Proxy and/or A Living Will. Once the form(s) are completed and signed, photocopy the form and give it to your spokesperson, family, and your AgeWell New York Care Manager.
  3. Review and update your advance directives periodically or after a major life change.

Remember: Advance Directives apply only when the need arises and you are unable to make your own medical decisions. You do not need to notarize your Health Care Proxy form or Living Will and you do not need a lawyer to fill out these forms.

AgeWell New York can assist you in making sure that your wishes for care and treatment are followed. Advance Care Planning gives peace of mind to you and your family by avoiding confusion and conflict over your medical care.