Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Inc.

Advance Care Planning

Have you done any Advance Care Planning, thought or talked about what you would want if…..?

Advance Care PlanningDecember 20 2013 - Press Release


We are all fearful of what might happen in the latter stages of our lives. Most of us would rather not think about it. If we do not plan for this, it can often lead to unnecessary suffering, expense and cause the things we fear most to actually come true.

But you can prevent this from happening!

Most people do not die suddenly, instead we usually get sicker slowly. As we age, medical care becomes less able to keep us well and more likely to cause us harm. Unless we tell them otherwise, doctors and nurses feel obligated to do things we might not want that may cause great suffering, often with little or no benefit.
You can remain in control of decisions by writing down things that are important to you, that you might want if you were to lose the ability to communicate. This is Advance Care Planning.

Advance Care Planning includes:

A) Assigning a “Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOAH)”:  A DPOAH is the person or persons you choose to make decisions for you if you are not able to. In the State of New Hampshire there is no law that says who that person will be unless you assign someone.  Without a DPOAH, any disagreements between family members and/or caregivers can only be legally resolved in court – a process that takes time, causes suffering and is expensive. The Terry Schiavo case is a very good example of what happens without a DPOAH.

B) Telling your DPOAH what your end of life wishes might be: for example, writing down whether you would want your life extended through extraordinary measures in a near death situation without hope of recovery or were permanently unconscious.

C) Considering creating a living will: this is a statement that documents your wishes for end of life care.
These things are hard to think about. Without guidance, loved ones  are forced to make heart-wrenching, difficult decisions that can leave guilt and sometimes be contrary to your wishes.

If you have filled out an Advance Directive, your loved ones can trust they are doing what you would want.


Advance Care Planning: maintain control of your decisions and give the gift of an Advance Directive to yourself and your family. Contact an ACHS Patient Navigator or anyone on your health care team to assist in completing your Advance Directive now!


Want more information? Check out the websites listed below...

Advance Care Planning Guide:

This report was compiled by Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Inc. (ACHS) clinical staff for informational purposes, and does not replace any advice one might receive from a qualified health care provider.

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