Be prepared with Life Care Planning in Colorado
Peace of mind for the unexpected
Who would guide decisions about your health care if you were unable to speak for yourself? What would you want that person to say? Kaiser Permanente’s Life Care Planning service can help you answer these questions. Read on to learn more.
What is Life Care Planning?
Life Care Planning is a process that leads to the completion of an advance health care directive. It involves reflection, conversation, and documentation about what’s important to you.
What is an advance health care directive?
An advance directive defines who would make health care decisions for you if you were ever unable to speak for yourself. It also outlines your reasoning behind those decisions and includes:
- Your designated health care agent (decision-maker)
- Your choices and preferences about life-sustaining treatment(s)
- Religious affiliation, if applicable
- A declaration of organ donor status, if applicable
Why is Life Care Planning important?
“Unless you’ve thought through what you want and wouldn’t want – and have had meaningful conversations with your loved ones – you leave the ones who would make the decisions for you in a bind,” says Tracy Ellen Lipard, MD, clinical lead for complex care at Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute.
Adds Daniel Johnson, MD, and physician lead for palliative care at the Care Management Institute, “Without a Life Care Plan guiding them, families can be left with guilt …. They feel guilt if they continue treatment and guilt no matter what their decisions were.”
With a Life Care Plan, your family won’t have to struggle with guesswork if you’re ever unable to communicate your wishes.
When is a good time to start a Life Care Plan?
It’s never too soon to begin your Life Care Plan.
“Life Care Planning is something to consider at every stage of life,” Lippard says. “And it’s important to revisit your decisions and statements about what gives life purpose, because that can change.”
Revisiting your Life Care Plan also keeps your family members updated on your values and wishes, now and through the years to come.
What do people who’ve tried it have to say?
When 85-year-old Lucile Johnson had her second heart attack, she and her daughter Sandra Harris took a Life Care Planning class at Kaiser Permanente.
“It facilitated a rich dialogue within our family,” Harris says. “Hearing from her what she really wants gives us peace of mind to make decisions.”
Where can I find help with getting started?
Call 1-866-868-7112 or visit kp.org/advancedirective today.
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