What is Advance Care Planning?
Advance Care Planning involves learning about the types of decisions that might need to be made, considering those decisions ahead of time, and letting others know about your preferences, often by putting them into an advance directive. This advance directive is a legal document that goes into effect only if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself.
The directive could be used in the event of disease or severe injury — no matter how old you are – and helps others know the type of medical care you want. It also allows you to express your values and desires related to end-of-life care.
An advance directive as a living document — one that you can adjust as your situation changes because of new information or a change in your health.
While there are tools that can help inform your loved ones of your wishes, in Massachusetts, there is one advanced directive document: The Massachusetts Health Care Proxy.
Advance Care Planning - National Institute on Aging