New DDA Caregiver Alert: Advance Care Planning

Side view of a woman's hand holding a pen over a piece of paper. Window in the background and a glass of water on the table.

Did You Know?

  • Advance care planning is in the process of considering health care decisions for
    an individual if a serious health concern arises.
  • To make these decisions, individuals need to think about what is important to
    them, including personal goals, values, beliefs, and preferences about different
    types of medical treatment. It may help to talk with family, friends, health care
    providers, and guardian (if applicable).
  • Individuals can choose a “proxy,” someone to advocate for them with health
    care providers to make sure that any actions taken are what the individual
    wants. This person can also be called a health care agent, health care
    representative, or durable power of attorney for health care. Some individuals
    may already have guardians in place who serve in this role.
  • Advance care planning should include completing an advance directive (a legal
    document), to help make sure their wishes are honored.
  • Advance care planning is important and it is never too soon to have
    conversations with family and loved ones.

Learn more about advance care planning, advance directives, Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) and more in this latest Caregiver Alert by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).


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