It’s a good idea to think about your future care and what you’d like it to be. Advance directives are simply your plan for just that, including for if a time comes when you might be unable to communicate what you want.

Advance directives help you make known:

  1. Who should handle health care decisions for you when you cannot
  2. The kind of treatment you want or don’t want (your living will)
  3. How comfortable you want to be (in managing pain)

Your doctor is a good resource for helping you think about your decisions. If you already have a plan—great! Be sure to review it at least once a year to make sure you don’t want to change it. And anytime you do change your advance directives, make sure your doctor—and trusted family and friends—have a copy.

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