Your health care choices should reflect your wishes and beliefs. (It is always a good) time to discuss those health care choices — and encourage loved ones to do so as well.
Advance care planning is the process of thinking through and talking about your health care wishes so you can confidently create an advance directive. An advance directive is a legal document that makes your health care wishes clear if you were to become injured or sick and could not speak for yourself.
At Presbyterian, our Advance Care Planning Program has a team of 18 volunteer facilitators across the state who are here to help our community think through their health care wishes, for free, in person or by phone. Schedule an appointment by calling 1-866-773-7226.
These very special volunteers are drawn to this work for many reasons, but all express joy in helping others think about what they want for their own healthcare.
Santa Fe volunteer Ellen Bromley was inspired by an experience with her mother, who did not have an advance directive when she became ill. The experience made her realize the value of talking to loved ones before they are sick about their wishes for end-of-life care.
“I continue to advocate for advance directives for those left behind,” she says. “Having the conversation ahead of time enables everyone to get on the same page. The patient’s wishes are heard by the medical team via the advance directive and fewer decisions need to be made at the time of crisis.”
Another volunteer, Kay Prather of Albuquerque, worked with her mother to fill out an advance directive. Along the way, she learned a lot about her mother, such as her wishes for burial.
Now, she says, she loves the powerful experience of working with community members to think through and write down what is most important to them.