While advance care planning is useful for anyone, it’s particularly important for those looking for the best end-of-life care experience and considering hospice. At the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), we understand this process may initially seem daunting, which is why we’ve made it as seamless as possible with the help of our advance care planning team.

The first step of the program is an information session, where you meet with a nurse practitioner and licensed clinical social worker in your home to evaluate your health and educate you on available services and treatment options. They will also provide you with supportive literature and tools to empower informed decision making and self-advocacy after the visit.

The importance of advance care planning cannot be overstated. It plants the first seeds of thought about your long-term healthcare wishes and serves to invite open conversation and consideration of what are often deemed uncomfortable topics. If appropriate, it affords the opportunity to receive accurate education about hospice philosophy and services, dispelling myths and breaking down barriers to what is the only service that can support the needs of the dying.

Advance care planning not only provides the opportunity for choice and active participation in your plan of care, but it is a way of planning proactively rather than reactively – before a health crisis occurs. It’s also a way of saying ‘I love you’ to your family. By having an advance directive in place, it alleviates the burden of decision-making for them.

For more information about advance care planning, please call our office at 772.567.5551 and ask to speak with one of our advance care planning specialists. You can also find more information about advance care planning at vnatc.com/home-health/advance-care-planning.