Advance Care Planning

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance care planning is a process to help you:

  • Understand possible future healthcare choices,
  • Reflect on those choices in light of the values and goals important to you,
  • Discuss your choices with those close to you and the health professionals who care for you, and
  • Make a plan for future healthcare situations.

Why do I need to participate in Advance Care Planning?

Conversations about these topics may feel uncomfortable or new. At Memorial, we have a Certified Advance Care Planning facilitator who can help lead you through this conversation. When you have discussions about how you want to be treated, it reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and even anger among all those involved.

What can I expect from an Advance Care Planning conversation?

An Advance Care Planning conversation with our Certified Advance Care Planning Facilitator will focus on your unique needs, but could include:

  • What is important for you to live well
  • Personal, cultural or spiritual beliefs you have that could impact your healthcare decisions
  • A discussion about possible healthcare decisions if you became very ill and the services available to you as your illness progresses
  • Who you would want to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself

Your choices are often recorded in a document called an advance directive. Completing an advance directive is always optional.

What do I do next?

If you are interested in Advance Care Planning and you are a Memorial Care patient, please call 217-757-7253.

If you are not a Memorial Care patient, we encourage you to ask your physician about what services are available to you.

Click the “in this section” button at the top of the page to learn more about Care Management Services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning is process of considering, discussing and documenting your preferences in regards to future health-care treatment.

What is an Advance Directive

An Advance Directive is a set of legal documents that outlines your wishes for healthcare. Key documents include Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Living Will and Mental Health Treatment Declaration.

What is the difference between a Living will and a Power of Attorney for Healthcare? 

A Living Will is a written document to inform your healthcare providers and loved ones what type of medical care you want to receive if you are terminally ill or unconscious.

A Power of Attorney for Healthcare is a written document to appoint an individual to make medical decisions in the event you are unable to make them yourself.

Can I still make my own decisions once I fill out an Advance Directives?

Yes. Only when you are unable to make decisions for yourself will your healthcare proxy step forward to make decisions on your behalf.

When should I update my Advance Directive?

Your Advance Directives should be reviewed at least annually. In addition, they should be reviewed and updated with any change in condition, change in healthcare wishes or change in healthcare proxy.

What if I don't fill out an Advance Directive?

Your loved ones will not know your wishes and may become confused, scared or even angry through the process. You may also receive treatment not in line with your healthcare wishes.

Download our advance care planning guidebook: English | Spanish | French