Helping patients find their voice with advance care planning

Advance care planning is all about patients expressing their wishes and talking about the kind of healthcare they would want—or not want—if they could not speak for themselves. Advance care planning conversations can engage and empower your patients to make their own healthcare choices. They can also help you identify and clarify patient values and preferences regarding medical treatments and life-sustaining care.

Unfortunately, it’s often difficult for patients to speak up about their healthcare wishes.

  • The topic may make them uncomfortable
  • They may not think the time is right to talk about it
  • They may think it promotes a lack of care or implies that all hope is lost

Research has shown that while almost everyone knows they should have advance care planning conversations, only a small percentage have actually done so. 1

Guiding patients through the advance care planning journey

As a care manager, you can help your patients have greater peace of mind by:

  • Reinforcing the importance of advance care planning discussions
  • Initiating and facilitating conversations with their loved ones and care team members
  • Guiding them through the journey and helping them create an advance care plan (or advance care directive)

Care Forward provides resources, tools, and tips to help you have more meaningful advance care planning discussions with patients and their families. You can also use these resources to supplement and reinforce the content in the Care Forward patient resources. That way, you, your care team members, and your patients will be using the same terminology as you work together to move through the 5 steps of the advance care planning journey.

Help your patients find state-specific forms

Many states have their own advance directive forms. Let your patients know that they can download the correct form for their state by visiting www.CaringInfo.org. A lawyer can also help, but is not required.

A Guide to Advance Care Planning for Care Managers

This companion guide can help you reinforce the content in the Care Forward patient brochure as you encourage patients to find their voice and develop their advance care planning journey.

A Guide for Initiating Advance Care Planning Conversations With Your Patients

This tool provides tips, guidelines, and sample questions to help you and your care team members initiate and lead meaningful care planning conversations with patients.

Advance Care Planning Discussions Checklist for Care Managers

Use this tool to keep track of each step as you guide patients through the 5 steps of the advance care planning process.