Advance Care Planning

What if you became injured or seriously ill and were unable to speak for yourself and make your own health care decisions?

Even if you’re healthy now, it’s important to be prepared for unexpected situations and make your health care decisions known now to your medical providers and loved ones.

Cottage Health is committed to helping our patients and community members identify, communicate, and document their values, goals, and health care decisions for all stage of their lives. We want to understand and honor your health care decisions.

Plan for Your Future: Make Your Health Care Decisions Known

Advance care planning is the process of planning your health care decisions now in case you are unable to speak for yourself in the future.

Advance care planning involves four important steps:

health care agent

1. Choose a health care agent: A health care agent is a person who will speak for you if you are unable to make or express your health care decisions for yourself. Your health care agent will tell your medical providers about your health care decisions so that everyone will understand and honor your choices.

document health care decisions

2. Document your health care decisions in an Advance Directive: An advance directive is a legal document that you fill out to tell your loved ones and medical providers about your health care decisions. You can download Cottage Health’s My Care Advance Directive below.

give advance directive to medical provider

3. Give completed copies of your advance directive to your medical providers. Remember your advance directive is only complete and considered a legal document when it has been signed by you and also two witnesses or a notary. Your medical providers will keep a copy of your advance directive in your medical records so your health care decisions will be honored if you cannot speak for yourself.
Submit your completed advance directive to Cottage Health in one of four convenient ways.

share decisions with family and friends

4. Talk to your family and friends about your health care decisions and give them copies of your Advance Directive: It’s important to tell your loved ones about your health care decisions now so that they understand them and will honor them in the future.

Educate Yourself About Medical Treatments

Sometimes decisions about different types of medical treatment may need to be made very quickly if you’re injured or seriously ill. Understanding what these medical treatments are and deciding what kind of quality life is important to you is helpful. You may decide you do or do not want these types of medical treatment:

CPR | Ventilation | Feeding tube | Hydration

Download the guide to understanding life-sustaining treatments

Interested in Learning More About Advance Care Planning?

Contact our Advance Care Planning Department at 805-324-9140. Our Advance Care Planning Coordinator can answer questions or schedule a time to meet with you to discuss advance care planning.

Download the Advance Care Planning brochure