Three things to know about advance care planning.

In the midst of a difficult diagnosis, finding peace and calmness can take strength you didn’t know you had. But one thing you can do to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the road ahead is to complete Advance Care Planning documents. Having these documents in place can bring clarity to difficult situations.

When we started Canopy, we heard of countless stories where missing documentation on healthcare wishes took a heavy emotional toll on friends and family. Families found themselves stranded, unsure of what decisions to make — and without much time to make decisions. We are on a mission to help change that, and hope you’ll join us.

Like any journey, Advance Care Planning takes time. As you get started, here are three important things to know:

Advance Care Planning Empowers You.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) allows you to be the author of your own story. By documenting your core values and defining what living well means to you, you empower yourself to receive respect and dignity at all stages of life, and make your voice heard even in situations where you cannot speak for yourself.

These values can then be documented in a Living Will, which ensures that your future healthcare interventions help you maintain that meaningful life as much as possible. Through another document called a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOA-H), you can identify a person who is willing and able to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, and who will advocate for what matters most to you. Both the Living Will and DPOA-H are legal documents known as Advance Care Directives. Canopy helps you create those documents.

When you conduct Advance Care Planning with Canopy, we’ll ask you questions about what you want for your care, your core values, and what living well means to you. When you’re done answering, all your responses will populate your Advance Care Directives (both the DPOA-H and the Living Will). Having these documents in place is important for giving you and your loved ones the tools to plan for the future.

Advance Care Planning Documents Should Be Shared.

Getting your Advance Care Directives in place is an amazing milestone, but they become useless unless the right people have access. Remember to share these documents with your loved ones and healthcare team!

Through the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOA-H), you will identify an individual who will be entrusted with making healthcare decisions for you in the event that you cannot make these decisions yourself. This person is your medical proxy. Sharing your Advance Care Directives with your medical proxy will give them peace of mind when confronted with making healthcare decisions on your behalf. You can also share your documents with other family members and friends to ensure the people who play a big role in your life know and understand your healthcare wishes.

With Canopy, you can easily, securely, share your documents with your loved ones and healthcare team via our platform. You, your loved ones, and healthcare team can conveniently access your documents through any web-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Ultimately, you should ensure the right people have the answers they need (and know where to find them!) in the event of an emergency.

Advance Care Planning Wishes Can Change.

Lots of change happens throughout our lives, and that means your Advance Care Planning wishes will probably change over time, too! Think of your Advance Care Planning wishes as an ongoing dialogue with yourself and your loved ones to ensure your wishes are up to date.

We recommend reviewing your Advance Care Planning documents yearly, with big life events, and with changes to your health. If you see anything that doesn’t align with your current wishes, you can update your documents and share the updates with your loved ones and healthcare team. And if your Advance Care Planning wishes do not change over time, that is okay too! We still recommend that you review your documents yearly. You may also want to consider creating a new document after some time so your healthcare team and loved ones are aware that the document is up to date and recently confirmed.

To learn more about Advance Care Planning and how Canopy can help, please visit our FAQ page. If you’re ready to get started, click here. If you have more questions after reading our FAQ or just would like to say hello, send us a message at hello@canopy.tools.

We look forward to hearing from you and supporting your Advance Care Planning journey!