Learn about advance health care directives in Northern California
Kaiser Permanente Redwood City member Gary Vogel knows from personal experience the value of completing his advance health care directive and selecting a health care agent who will speak for him if he cannot do so himself.
After one of Gary’s best friends passed away from a prolonged illness, he decided to consider and document his own future health care wishes “without the urgency and stress brought on by an accident, declining health, or advanced age.”
Gary says completing an advance health care directive “helps your family and loved ones be absolutely clear on your wishes, and helps reduce stress, anxiety, and grieving because they know your wishes were honored.”
Video: How to choose your health care agent [:35]
“It’s so important for every individual to record their medical treatment wishes in their advance directive, as well as share their decisions with both their loved ones and health care providers,” says Shoshana Helman, MD, a palliative care physician at our Redwood City Medical Center.
Life care planning is an organized process of communications to help adults think about and discuss goals for future health care decisions that reflect their values and beliefs, and to express those goals in writing.
An advance directive is a legal document that states your wishes for future medical care if you become unable to speak for yourself. Once you have completed an advance directive, we recommend you share it with loved ones and give it to your doctor for your medical record.
We offer life care planning resources, forms, and health education classes in Northern California. Classes are no cost for members.