Advance Directives: Your Life, Your Choices
Are you familiar with advance care planning and advance directives for health care? Advance care planning involves two major decisions about your end-of-life care:
- Selecting someone you trust to make your health care decisions if you are incapable due to a sudden injury or illness, and,
- Having a discussion with your loved ones about the care you would want in the future
It’s important to have conversations about what you value most in life and how you would want to be treated in specific health or medical situations. It is also important to document your wishes. Putting your plan in writing helps those caring for you to know your wishes so you get the care that you want. One way you can document your wishes is by completing advance directive forms such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Living Will.
As a service to our members, Kaiser Permanente offers free, 2-hour classes in advance care planning. The “Your Life, Your Choices” class will:
- help you think about your values, beliefs, and decisions
- help facilitate talking to your loved ones about those decisions
- discuss various pathways of medical care for people who are very sick
- discuss life-sustaining treatment options (CPR, ventilators, etc.) in detail
- show you how to fill out the advance directive forms
There is no charge for you and a guest.
Classes are offered in the spring and fall in most of Kaiser Permanente's locations throughout Western Washington and at the Riverfront Medical Center in Spokane.
Kaiser Permanente's "Your Life, Your Choices" in-person classes are suspended until further notice. We believe this is in the best interest of our members, their families, and our community. In-person classes will be offered again once this health crisis has passed.
However, as the Program Coordinator for the “Your Life, Your Choices” program, I would like to help you fill out your advance directives and answer any questions you have about the advance care planning process! If you wish for me to send you the advance directive forms in the mail, please email or call me toll-free (see info below) and please leave your name and address. If you wish for me to call you to have a one-on-one conversation about the forms or any other aspect of advance care planning, please phone/email me and leave your name, Kaiser medical number, your phone number, and a few good times to call you back. I feel that having these forms in place and available for your health care team to access is more important than ever, and I welcome the opportunity to have a conversation with you.
Shannon Lorah, “Your Life, Your Choices” Program Coordinator