Making Advance Care Planning More Accessible

Simple resources to help people and families prepare for care.

By Arif H. Kamal MD, Sojourns Scholar and Associate Professor at Duke University
Making Advance Care Planning More Accessible
Seven New Videos to Help You Make A Plan for Care
Even in this time of COVID-19 as older adults have disproportionately fallen ill from the virus, a new national poll found that less than half of 50+ adults formally recorded their care wishes for when they become seriously ill.

National Healthcare Decisions Day is this Friday, April 16, providing an opportunity for the public to learn about the importance of advance care planning, how to talk with loved ones about your health care wishes and document those wishes by creating an advanced care plan.

For many people, discussions about advance care planning can be very overwhelming. What does it mean? What is involved? How complicated is the process? What situations would I most likely need to have my advance care plan available? Is this relevant for me?

I am proud to have been a part of a new series of videos created by the North Carolina Serious Illness Coalition to answer many of the most important questions with direct, simple answers to help people and families create their plan for care in advance.

In one of the videos entitled “Your Documents,” I help answer questions like:
  • What kind of documents are included in an advance care plan?
  • Living Will? Advance Directive? It sounds like there are a lot of names. Why are there so many different ones?
  • So, a Health Care Power of Attorney helps those I trust to legally make some decisions on my behalf? How is that different from a regular Power of Attorney document?
  • I had a cousin with a serious heart condition and they had something more intense than an Advance Directive. Is that common?
  • This seems like a lot of documents? Do I need a lawyer for all of these?
I invite you to watch this new, comprehensive set of seven short videos, learn more about the “why” and “how to” of putting advance directives in place and make a plan for your care.