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 that ensures your wishes are followed

Why do I need to participate in Advance Care Planning?

It can be hard to start advance care planning conversations or talk to your loved ones about end-of-life care. 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 for you and your loved ones.

You can also check out some tips for starting the advance care planning conversation with your loved ones on the Memorial Health Blog.

What can I expect from an Advance Care Planning consultation?

An advance care planning consultation 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
  • Who you would want to appoint as an informal “family spokesperson” to communicate updates on your condition to your friends and family if you were seriously ill

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 to schedule an advance care planning consultation today or submit a request online. If you are not a Memorial Care patient, we encourage you to ask your physician about what services are available to you.

Download our advance care planning guidebook: English | SpanishFrench

Advance Care Planning FAQs

What is Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is the process of considering, discussing and documenting your preferences for future healthcare 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 could happen if I don't complete 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.