Advance Care Plans

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16th.

If you were seriously ill or involved in an accident and could not communicate, who would make your healthcare decisions? CLICK HERE TO WATCH as our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brian Bell, explains the importance of planning your advance directives.

 Making decisions about the end of you life can be a life-affirming experience. You are taking control of how you believe major decisions should be handled and ensuring peace of mind for yourself, as well as your family. Having an advance care plan can help achieve these goals.

There are several Health Care Decision Forms that were adopted by the Arkansas State Board of Health on pursuant to the Health Care Decisions Act of 2013. A recent update to is Act 504 of 2017, the Arkansas Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment Act (POLST), which provides a standardized physician order form.

These documents enable anyone to plan for and express end-of-life wishes in the event that you are unable to communicate.  They can also can help free your family from the responsibility and stress of making difficult decisions without you.

Keep your advance care plan in a safe and easily accessible place, and make an extra copy for yourself in case the original is lost or accidentally destroyed. Give copies to your doctor, family members and close friends. Remember that if no one knows about your wishes, the risk of not being treated as you wish increases significantly if the need arises. Also, consider taking your plan with you if you are admitted to the hospital.

Following are links from the Arkansas Department of Health website to download each of the forms necessary to complete your advance care plan:

For more information, view or download our Arkansas Hospice brochure on advance care planning.