What You Need to Know About Advance Care Planning

It may seem strange to prepare for the unthinkable when you’re feeling well, but we encourage everyone—whether they’re a resident or not—to learn about the importance of advance care planning.

Why do we believe this is so vital? Because the time to prepare for a medical crisis is before it happens.

That’s why we want to share this knowledge with our community residents and their loved ones.

We’ll look at what advance care planning involves, why it’s important and how you can get started.

What Is Advance Care Planning?

The best time to plan for a medical emergency is before you are in one.

That’s the philosophy behind advance care planning and advanced directives. These documents clearly outline your health care preference if you are ever facing a serious medical illness, an emergency, or a situation where you are unable to make your wishes known.

Advance care planning involves completing certain documents called advance directives. These let your wishes be known if you are in a crisis situation where you are unable to speak for yourself.

Remember, these documents are only utilized if you can’t make your decisions known or you can’t communicate with your health care providers or loved ones.

There are different facets of advanced directives. They include:

  • A health care power of attorney
  • Declaration of the desire for a natural death
  • Instructions in the event of mental health treatment
  • A declaration of an anatomical gift

We’ll break down each of these and provide information about them.

Health Care Power of Attorney

When you appoint someone to be your health care power of attorney, you are empowering them to make decisions about your health care if, for some reason, you are unable to convey your wishes.

A Declaration for the Desire of a Natural Death
You may have heard this called a living will. This document outlines what life-saving treatment you do and don’t want. It may center around issues such as CPR, ventilator use or feeding tubes.

Instruction for Mental Health Treatment
If you have mental health issues, this will outline your wishes, instructions and preferences for any mental health care if you’re unable to decide for yourself. It may also outline consent or refusal of such treatment.

An Anatomical Gift
Anyone over the age or 18 has the option of giving an anatomical gift, meaning they can bequeath their body to science or become an organ donor.

When Should You Get an Advance Directive?

Many people don’t think about establishing an advanced care plan until they are a senior citizen. But we think it’s important to get one as soon as possible. Why?

Because anyone, at any age, can face an emergency. In a life-threatening situation, you won’t always be able to easily tell people what you want.

This is why we want to encourage you to get one to ensure your desires are honored.

How Do I Get an Advanced Directive?

It’s simple to get started. All you have to do is download some appropriate forms from the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office.

Once these forms are completed, the directive needs to be notarized. Afterward, you should submit it to the NC Secretary of State’s office, where it will be stored in the Health Care Registry. All information on advance directives can be found on the state’s website.

Do you have questions about completing your form? If so, consult with your attorney, who will provide the details you need.

Need more information? The State of North Carolina has a complete guide you can download.

Cedar Cove: Quality Assisted Living on the Gorgeous North Carolina Coast

We love what we do.

And we love the ones we serve.

It’s that simple.

At Cedar Cove, we care for you as if you were a member of our own family. In many ways, you are.

We’re located in the wonderful coastal city of Wilmington, where you can spend an afternoon strolling on the beach, visit a historic WWII battleship or take in some of the fine dining at local restaurants and cafes.

In addition to our assisted living, we also have secure memory care units for those who have Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

Discover why assisted living may be the right choice for you or the one you love. Schedule a virtual tour with us today.