What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance Care Planning enables you to plan medical care for your future. You receive the opportunity to plan for medical treatments and support while you are still able to do so. An advance care plan or advance directive is not right for everyone. But, in certain instances it becomes extremely relevant. This includes:
  • Individuals with a high risk of a loss of mental capacity. A good example is someone suffering from a progressive illness.
  • Individuals with a mental capacity capable of changing due to specific circumstances such as mental illness.
An advance directive often makes a significant difference regarding making decisions in the future or having others make the decisions instead.

The Basics of Advance Care Planning

When it comes to your future, planning is critical whether for hospice care or engaging home care services Monterey CA. The role of care staff and managers is essential to offer the support necessary to consider taking advantage of advance care planning for the future. These individuals should be well-trained and follow the guidelines below.
  • Sensitivity is essential because there are individuals uncomfortable with discussing an advance care plan or that already have an advance directive in place.
  • It is important to remember every individual is unique. Needs for control, autonomy and knowledge will be slightly different across individuals.
  • Understanding that the choices made by people other than yourself can appear unwise. This does not always indicate the individual is making a wrong choice or is unable to make a decision.
  • The management or care staff should verify in the beginning stages to determine if the individual already has an advance care plan in place.
  • The reason advance care planning is important should be explained whenever necessary. All of the associated challenges and benefits should also be thoroughly discussed.
  • The different ways support and care can be planned in advance should be understood. Some of these ways are possible due to the Mental Capacity Act.

What Information Does the Care Staff Require When Creating an Advanced Directive?

Finding out the following information is essential for the care staff.

  • If the individual has a lasting power of attorney, they are able to provide one or more individuals with legal authority. This enables decisions to be made regarding welfare, health, finances and property.
  • Although advance statements are not considered legally binding, considering them carefully for future decisions is important. Any information the individual believes is important for their care and health and be included.

What is the Best Way to Relay Information on Advance Care Planning?

The best option is to provide the individual with written information explaining advance care planning in a simple way. The idea is to ensure the person understands so the relevance can be explained. The ability to make decisions as time passes can be affected. The individual should receive all of the following information:

  • The individual should understand their condition, receive support to feel comfortable asking for more information from the healthcare staff and the process necessary for an advance directive should be explained.
  • The individual should understand how decisions are made in the event they lose capacity.
  • Explaining how decisions already made can be changed while the individual still has the capacity is important.
  • All services able to assist with advance care planning should be explained and discussed.

How To Help Someone Decide if Advance Care Planning is the Right Decision

The individual should receive help in order to make a knowledgeable choice regarding an advanced care plan. The decision should be left entirely to the individual. Different areas can be covered by an advance care plan including the way the person feels about different kinds of treatment or support, types of care and financial decisions. A good example regarding the way people prefer to do things is the choice between a bath and a shower. The process should also include:

  • The individual and their family or caregiver if desired should discuss anything potentially stopping them from remaining fully involved. A plan can also be created to ensure their involvement is as easy as possible.
  • Advance care planning should be discussed at the best possible time for the individual.
  • All information regarding the treatment options and medical condition of the individual should be current. This will simplify the process and relevant healthcare staff can be involved when necessary.

How is an Advance Care Plan Developed?

When home care services Monterey CA is involved with the creation of an advance care plan, the individual is asked if they want their friends, family or advocate involved. If so, they are included. The areas where a healthcare professional is important are discussed including and the following taken into account.

  • Medical History
  • Feelings and wishes
  • Social circumstances
  • Beliefs such as religion, ethnicity, culture and aspirations

The individual will receive help when considering the way needs can change as time passes.

The Importance of Communication

Many individuals need help communicating during important discussions. The different types of support required can include:

  • Advocacy
  • Specialist support for language and speech therapy
  • Communication aids
  • Involvement of friends or family members
  • Interpreters

How is an Advance Care Plan Recorded and Supported?

During the discussion, everything should be recorded. All decisions should be discussed to make certain the individual is in agreement with the notes. A written record should be provided for the advance care plan. This can be used to show a variety of services. If the individual is approaching the end of their life, they should be asked if they are interested in developing an advanced care plan, reviewing an existing plan or entering hospice care.

When there are any revisions to support or treatment plans, the advance care plan should be reviewed provided the individual still has the mental capacity. The involvement of a healthcare professional should be considered. All requested changes should be made including all necessary copies.