Advance Care Planning

We at Gilchrist help patients and families through difficult conversations every day, including advance care planning. We provide advice and assistance documenting your healthcare wishes.

It Starts With A Conversation

In the landscape of healthcare, decision-making holds immense importance, even for those young and healthy. The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the fact that serious illness can impact anyone, at any time. Reflecting on your healthcare wishes and documenting them in advance is not just vital for you, but also for your loved ones.

Families must engage in courageous conversations about end-of-life decisions. Despite societal reluctance and a healthcare system often focused on intervention, openly discussing mortality can profoundly shape our journey. What does death mean in our lives? How do our values guide our end-of-life choices? How should our loved ones be involved during this time?

Addressing these questions, although challenging, can make a monumental difference. Having these courageous conversations with ourselves, family, friends, and doctors ensures that our final moments align with our desires and values, empowering us to have a say in our own end-of-life journey. Let’s navigate these conversations together, ensuring that your wishes are honored every step of the way.

Advance Care Planning Information

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions as well as a list of resources for more information.

What Is Healthcare Decision Making?

Healthcare decision making, also known as advance care planning, refers to making plans in advance for deciding how you want to be cared for if you are no longer able to make medical decisions. 

Why Is Healthcare Decision Making Important? 

Imagine you had a stroke, an accident or a sudden serious illness that leaves you incapable of making medical decisions. Without an advance directive, doctors will either make these decisions for you or, in the best case, look to your family to make them. Would your family know your wishes? Or would they struggle with the weight of these decisions—perhaps even long after the decision is made? 

By thinking about your wishes now and documenting them, you will free your family from the burden of having to make these difficult decisions in the event that you are no longer able. It will help eliminate disagreement between your loved ones and lessen worry, guilt and regret. 

Resources To Help You Get Started – Other Websites That May Be of Help

MyDirectives helps you create your own digital advance care plan or upload any advance directive, advance care plan or portable medical order you already have.

A portable and enduring medical order form covering options for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other life-sustaining treatments.

The nation’s only national advance care planning program. Providing peace-of-mind for more than 25 years.

Please return this form to your provider via email, fax, or mail.

Help everyone talk about their wishes for care through the end of life, so those wishes can be understood and respected.

An advance directive allows you to decide who you want to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. You can also use it to say 

Helping every adult in Howard County to name their health care agent and talk about their medical care preferences.

Decision-making at the end of life is not as straightforward as you might imagine. Read what you should know about end-of-life health care decision-making.

If you are looking for additional help about Advanced Care Planning, please give us a call at 888.823.8880