AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine partnered with the leading online advance care plan provider, ADVault’s MyDirectives.com, to help residents in nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities clearly communicate their healthcare wishes and designate a healthcare proxy to speak for them if they’re unable to speak for themselves.
ADVault includes guidance from AMDA’s Advance Care Planning (ACP) Toolkit to providers utilizing ADVault’s Facilitated ACP Collaborate solution.
This solution offers:
- AMDA’s ethical, person-centered guidance that acts as a framework for the care team facilitating the ACP discussions
- Feedback and confirmation of the ACP alignment with the resident’s stated goals
- Interactive dashboards that present detailed ACP activity
- An audit trail and tracking of time spent rendering the ACP services
- Optional practitioner review of the ACP documents, and reporting to support real-time management of ACP activity
- The ability to view, print, and download to PDF or CDA
- And more!
AMDA clinical leadership reviewed the ADVault solution and liked the simplicity of the setup and the ability to make real-time updates to care choices.
“It is one of our sacred commitments to ensure that advance care planning conversations occur, to help our residents and their families make informed decisions about treatment preferences and to provide concordant medical orders. COVID-19 brings new nuances to these discussions when we consider hospitalization, intubation/ventilation, and CPR,” notes Karl Steinberg, MD, CMD, AMDA president elect and vice president of National POLST. “AMDA’s ACP tool, in conjunction with the user-friendly and accessible ADVault platform, should help us ensure that residents in our facilities are getting opportunities for goal-concordant care.”
“I think it’s really important for families at this time where a lot of people are concerned about what’s going on and don’t know what to expect to be honest and have conversations with themselves,” says Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne, ER physician at Prince George’s Hospital Center. “And so I’m a big proponent of people having advance care plans and making sure that they talk to their family members about what their wishes would be if there was an emergency.
It was very sobering for me to have to talk my husband about that and say, ‘Look if I go into the hospital and I test positive or if I get sick, this is what I want done, this is how I want to protect our daughters, this is what my wishes would be if there’s a crisis.’
And then document it. You can get advance directives at CDC.gov or use an online platform like MyDirectives that helps to keep everyone on the same page.”
Dear Savvy Senior,
All this horrible coronavirus carnage got me thinking about my own end-of-life decisions if I were to get sick. Can you recommend some good resources that can help me create a living will or advance directive, or other pertinent documents? I’ve put it off long enough.
Creating a living will (also known as an advance directive) is one of those things most people plan to do, but rarely get around to actually doing. Only about one-third of Americans currently have one. But the cold hard reality of the novel coronavirus may be changing that. Here’s what you should know along with some resources to help you create an advance directive.
To adequately spell out your wishes regarding your end-of-life medical treatment are two key documents: A living will which tells your doctor what kind of care you want to receive if you become incapacitated, and a health care power of attorney (or health care proxy), which names a person you authorize to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to.
These two documents are known as an advance directive, and will only be utilized if you are too ill to make medical decisions yourself. You can also change or update it whenever you please.
It isn’t necessary to hire a lawyer to prepare an advance directive. There are free or low-cost resources available today to help you create one, and it takes only a few minutes from start to finish.
One that I highly recommend that’s completely free to use is My Directives (MyDirectives.com). This is an online tool and mobile app that will help you create, store and share a detailed, customized digital advance directive. Their easy-to-use platform combines eight thoughtful questions to guide you through the process. If you’re not computer savvy, ask a family member or trusted friend to help you.
The advantage of having a digital advance directive versus a paper document is being able to access it quickly and easily via smartphone, which is crucial in emergency situations when they’re most often needed.
If, however, you’d rather have a paper document, one of the best do-it-yourself options is the Five Wishes advance directive (they offer online forms too). Created by Aging with Dignity, a nonprofit advocacy organization, Five Wishes costs $5, and is available in many languages. To learn more or to receive a copy, visit FiveWishes.org or call 850-681-2010.
Another tool you should know about that will compliment your advance directive is the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or POLST (sometimes called Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or MOLST). A POLST form translates your end-of-life wishes into medical orders to be honored by your doctors. To learn more about your state’s program or set one up, see POLST.org.
Readers should also know that if you’ve already prepared an advanced directive paper document, a POLST form or the VA advance directive form 10-0137, you can upload, store and share these documents too at MyDirectives.com.
Finally, to ensure your final wishes are followed, make sure to tell your family members, health care proxy and doctors. If you make a digital advance directive or have uploaded your existing forms, you can easily share them electronically to everyone involved. If you make a paper advance directive that isn’t uploaded, you should provide everyone copies to help prevent stress and arguments later.