April is National Healthcare Decisions Month
April is National Healthcare Decisions Month, a national initiative that seeks to educate the public about the importance of advance care planning.
“When we complete our advance care planning, we bring peace of mind to our family so they avoid the burden of making difficult choices later,” said Paul Luong, MD, Palliative and Geriatric Medicine physician in the Central Valley.
At Kaiser Permanente, Life Care Planning (LCP) is an approach to advance care planning which enables family and physicians to know and honor patient wishes if they were unable to speak for themselves. It includes identification of a decision maker, understanding the values and goals of care, and documentation of treatment preferences using an Advance Health Care Directive. Life Care Planning seminars are regularly provided by trained nurse and social worker facilitators, as well as non-clinical staff.
“Life Care Planning helps to speak for a patient when they cannot – such as in the case of a bad accident or severe illness,” Dr. Luong said. “It also keeps the patient’s loved ones from having to make these types of decisions during emergency or high-stress circumstances.”
For more information, visit Kaiser Permanente’s Life Care Planning website, which contains tools and resources to help you get started.