Take time to plan ahead now so future healthcare challenges don’t create difficult questions and unnecessary worry for family caregivers and decision makers. Honoring Choices Florida – Florida’s advance care planning initiative is supported and coordinated by Community Hospice & Palliative Care. Peace of mind comes when you have a conversation about your goals, beliefs and experiences and make your wishes known in advance.
Patients often do not receive the care they want when faced with a serious or life-limiting illness. Advance Care Planning (ACP) means talking about and documenting your health care wishes in advance, so in the event you become ill and cannot speak for yourself your wishes are known and can be carried out.
Ideally, your wishes should be put in writing and shared with your family, clergy and health care providers. Documents, such as the one available in the Honoring Choices guide, as well as living wills and health care surrogate designations, are tools in this process. Making your wishes known and documented will help ensure health care providers, community support systems and family, know and honor your wishes.
The benefits of ACP are far reaching and may be the greatest gift you can give your loved ones. Benefits include:
Ultimately, the outcome of ACP is the improved quality of life and quality of death. This comes from fully understanding your health care choices, making decisions based on your values, goals and beliefs and communicating your wishes to your family, health care providers and/or community support systems.
*It is the policy of Community Hospice & Palliative Care to involve the patient and family in all health care decisions while in our hospice program. Community Hospice & Palliative Care will not attempt to influence your decisions, nor promote a specific action; nor will Community Hospice & Palliative Care take measures to either hasten or postpone death. You may receive care from Community Hospice & Palliative Care regardless of whether or not you have executed an advance care plan.
The information on advance care planning is provided as a courtesy and should not be relied upon as legal advice. There are statutory provisions that address and set forth specific requirements for advance directives that are not discussed in this general information. If you have specific questions regarding your health care or your legal rights and responsibilities, you should consult your health care provider and/or an attorney.
“Having an informed conversation made my children feel more at ease. I have a comfort about aging I didn’t have before. It’s so easy to have that peace of mind with Honoring Choices Florida.” — Joan Madison
Community Hospice & Palliative Care partnered with six Northeast Florida hospitals to bring the program to patients and families in the community. The program is now being put into practice in various non-hospital settings with the goal to continually spread to other community sites.
The ACP process begins with a conversation with a specially trained Honoring Choices "facilitator" about goals, values, beliefs and experiences in planning for future health care needs. Ideally, this conversation should occur when you are healthy. The result will be a well-informed plan that identifies your health care wishes in the event of a serious or life-limiting illness.
If you choose to complete a written advance care plan without guidance from an Honoring Choices facilitator, make sure you: