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How To Create a Care Plan for Future Health Decisions

Senior couple looking over documents together

Because you don’t want to leave your health care to chance, it’s important to have a plan for managing your health, especially as you get older. A care plan is a written document that summarizes your health conditions and current treatments, ensuring that you and your loved ones have a clear picture of your health care needs and your wishes.

Why Is a Care Plan Important?

A care plan gathers necessary information regarding your health into one document, providing a helpful resource for you and your loved ones if a medical situation arises. It can be particularly important to have a care plan if you have a health condition such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease, or if your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having a detailed written strategy for your care can improve the management of chronic health conditions, reduce stress related to managing your health, decrease the likelihood of emergency room visits and give you and your family members peace of mind.  

Preparing a Care Plan

To get started, consider using the CDC’s care plan document, a straightforward form that guides you through the process of gathering necessary information. Additional steps as you craft your care plan include:

  • Gathering information. To make a thorough care plan, you’ll need to include a summary of your health conditions, medications, healthcare providers, health insurance information, emergency contacts, caregiving resources and end-of-life care choices.
  • Talking with loved ones. Clear communication about what you want when it comes to managing your care will help your loved ones know how to advocate for your needs in a health crisis.
  • Consulting your doctors. Your medical team can provide information about community resources that will help you navigate caregiving needs and healthcare decisions. Your doctor can also outline your current medications and treatments, and give any referrals needed for additional services.
  • Writing a living will. This document is a type of advance directive that explains your wishes regarding end-of-life care. It explains the kinds of medical treatments and interventions you want, or don’t want, including mechanical ventilation, feeding tubes and resuscitation.
  • Choosing your power of attorney. Also called a healthcare agent, your medical power of attorney acts as your advocate, making healthcare decisions according to your stated wishes in the event you cannot speak for yourself. You’ll want to choose someone who’s dependable, trustworthy and able to handle making difficult decisions.
  • Distribute copies of your care plan. Make sure your doctor, family members and caregivers have copies of your care plan. Keep an additional copy where your loved ones can easily access it.
  • Review your plan regularly. Your care plan will be most effective if it’s up to date, so review your plan and other important documents annually, or whenever you have a change in your health.

Consider Adding Us to Your Support Team

Knowing that you have a care plan in place can bring peace of mind. Autumn Leaves assisted living in Dallas makes planning for your care as easy as possible. Situated near scenic White Rock Lake, our assisted living community combines the comforts of home with the reassurance of having access to the support you need. With two levels of care, our services can be tailored to meet your needs so you can be as independent as possible. 

Comfortable apartments include a private patio from which to enjoy our picturesque setting, while a caring staff and a busy activities calendar invite you to make meaningful connections with others. 

Should your health care needs change, you’ll have access to higher levels of care, including rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, within the same, familiar community. Contact us to find out more about assisted living at Autumn Leaves.