Advance Directive Resource

Advance Directive Information for Members

An Advance Directive is a process of writing your wishes about what type of care you would want or do not want, in case you get hurt, sick or become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. This typically involves completing a form and selecting an adult relative, spouse, partner or friend who can make decisions for you when you the time comes. The person you select to represent you is known as your “agent”. For this plan to become effective you must sign your name and write the date on the form.

Where Do I Begin?

  • You can write or fill out your own advance directive if you are 18 years or older, and are able to make your own decisions.

  • You do not need a lawyer to fill out the document, but it must be signed by a notary public or by 2 witnesses. Your “agent” cannot be one of the witnesses.

Who Should Be Informed?

  • After you choose this person, talk to them in detail about what you want. Make sure this person knows your wishes and is willing to make them for you.

  • Talk with your doctor and “agent” about what you want and give them both a copy.

  • Your doctor may ask you to sign a form that states you have talked to them about this document.

Can I Change My Mind?

  • You may change or cancel your advance directive at any time, as long as you are aware of how the choices impact your health care. Being aware means you can still think and voice your wishes in a clear manner. You can also change your “agent.”

  • Make sure that your doctor and your “agent” know about any changes.

Why Sign One Now When I’m Healthy?

  • The best time to sign an advance directive is when you are healthy, and are able to think and speak for yourself. Having a plan in place will ensure that your wishes are followed.

Where Can I Get The Advance Directive Document?

  • Most hospital emergency rooms and the Orange County Office on Aging have these forms. Call 1-800-510-2020 for more information. You do not need to use a form. You can also write your wishes down on paper and have this document signed instead.

  • Contact Caring Connections at www.caringinfo.org.
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