What would happen if you were in the hospital and couldn’t make your own decisions?\nNo one likes to think about the worst case scenario, but sometimes you have to be prepared for the unexpected. Advance care planning can help you prepare for the future, no matter what state you’re in.\nWhat Is Advance Care Planning?\nAdvance care planning is a process that allows you to plan for your future medical care in the event that you are too sick to make your own decisions later in life. You may have heard of an “advance directive” before. An advance directive is one type of tool that can be used.\nThe Importance of Advance Care Planning\nAdvance directives are only used as a guideline. It is not a form that will automatically make decisions the second you write them down. If you become too ill to make decisions for yourself, your care team can look for guidance from both your health care agent and your advance directive.\n8 Steps to Plan Your Advance Care\n1. Start the Conversation \u2013 It is important to talk about advance care planning with your loved ones, even though it is not an easy topic. There are many resources available to help you start the conversation.\n2. Choose a Health Care Agent \u2013\u00a0Your health care agent will have durable medical power of attorney and can make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them yourself.\n3. Consider Your Values\u00a0\u2013 What makes your life worth living? There is no right or wrong answer, and it depends on what is important to you. You can choose your treatments that you would want based on your values\n4. Fill Out the Pennsylvania Advance Health Care Directive \u2013\u00a0Download the form and fill it out.\n5. Talk to Your Loved Ones about What Your Advance Directive Says \u2013\u00a0Fill in your family members once you have made your decision. It’s best to be open about your decisions prior to needing them.\n6. Make Copies \u2013 Make copies of your advance directive and give the copies to your loved ones, caregivers, and doctors.\n8. Don’t Forget to Take a Copy with You When You Go to the hospital \u2013 Your health care team may ask you if you have an advance directive, so have a copy on hand!\nYou may have additional questions: what if I change my mind? If I already have a will and power of attorney, do I still need a living will and health care agent? Don’t worry! You can learn more about advance directives and look at some of the frequently asked questions.