For Patients

Advance Care Planning: Letting Us Know Your Wishes for Medical Care

Talking with your family, friends and your physician about your wishes for medical care at the end of your life is called advance care planning. It's a way for you, your loved ones and your physician to discuss the kinds of care you want and don't want at that time. You can also specify the care you would want if you become unable to speak or make decisions for yourself, due to a coma or other medical condition. When you write down your wishes, this kind of plan is called an advance directive. We encourage all patients to complete an Advanced Care Directive before being admitted and bringing it with you so we may honor your wishes for care.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) encourages patients and families to talk about and document their care preferences in advance to ensure that the care they receive is aligned with their goals, values and priorities. We have provided resources for you and your family to help you have the conversation and document your wishes in writing.

You can download a California Advance Directive in English as well as several other languages. In addition, there is a link to provide you with Advance Directives for other States. If you or your loved one is seriously ill you may want to consider completing a POLST (Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment) with your physician. Having these conversations with your family, loved ones and physician are so important. Take a look at the Advance Directive Tool Kit below to see what tools are available to help you have the conversation. We know that participating in advance care planning improves end-of-life care for both the patient and their family. Let's start talking!

Advance Directive Tool Kit

Learn how to make decisions about the care you would want to receive if you become unable to speak for yourself. Download a copy of Providence St. Joseph Health Advance Directive tool kit to assist you and your family in having the conversation, selecting a health care decision maker and completing an Advance Directive.

Five Wishes

Five Wishes serves as an Advance Directive and is a legally-valid tool available for your use. Five Wishes helps ensure your wishes, and those of your loved ones, will be respected-even if you cannot speak for yourself.

POLST (Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment)

A new law effective 1/1/16 allows Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to sign the California POLST form. The form is now available in ENGLISH and will be available in other languages later in January 2016. For more information visit www.capolst.org

Click here for more information and to download a copy of the POLST in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Farsi, Armenian, Russian, Tagalog and Hmong.

POLST Forms

Click here to download a 2016 California POLST form in English.

How to Get Started

The Center for Advance Care Planning and Advocacy

The best time to start the conversation about the kind of care you’d want if you were in an accident or became seriously ill is now. The Center for Advance Care Planning and Advocacy is dedicated to engaging the community and health care providers in conversations about what matters and ensuring that our patient’s care preferences are honored. We can help you think about the care you’d want, talk to your loved ones about your decisions, choose your advocate andcomplete an advance directive. For additional resources, please visit our website atwww.talkaboutwhatmatters.org

Start the Conversation with these Four Steps:

  1. THINK- about your values, goals and care preferences if you were to become seriously ill
  2. TALK - to your loved ones about these care preferences
  3. CHOOSE - someone to speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself
  4. COMPLETE - an Advance Directive

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