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

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), an annual initiative to inspire, educate and empower people and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD exists to encourage everyone to express their healthcare wishes and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. 

Healthcare decision making is important for us all, even those who are relatively young and healthy. The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that serious illness can affect anyone, any time. Thinking through your health care wishes and documenting them in advance is one of the most important things you can do—not only for yourself but for your loved ones. 

Advance Care Planning Information and Resources 

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. 

How To Get Started