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Long-Term Planning

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Ensure You Always Have a Voice in Your Care

No one likes to think about facing a long-term illness, health crisis or needing to make end-of-life choices. But planning ahead can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you always have a voice in your care, and will help your loved ones ensure your wishes for your care are met.

Advanced Directives, Explained

Simply put, an advance directive is a written document made while you are competent that states your choices of health care — such as alternate forms of treatment or setting limits on treatment — and/or the name of someone to make those choices in the event that you lose the ability to express your choices.

Through an advance directive, such as a living will or durable power of attorney, you can make legally binding decisions about future care should you become incapacitated or cannot speak for yourself.

  • A durable power of attorney document designates another person to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you lose decision-making ability.
  • A living will is a document in which you can stipulate whether you want life-sustaining treatment in the event you become unable to make your own decisions.

To ensure your health care delivery preferences are followed, it is important to plan in advance, to talk to people close to you about your wishes and to consider executing an advance directive.

Advanced directives are not required for you to receive care.

If you pursue an advance directive, it is important to:

  • Ask questions of your physician, nurse, therapist, social worker, chaplain/clergy or any other health care professional involved in your care.
  • Be sure you have the information you need to make decisions. If anything is unclear, feel free to ask questions again.
  • Share your feelings about your decisions with your family.
  • Discuss your feelings, decisions and any personal or religious reasons why you do not desire some form of medical treatment with your physician.
  • Arrange to meet with your attorney to discuss your choices and address legal matters, such as personal wills.

How We Help

By state and federal law, we must inform patients of the option of creating an advance directive and distribute advance directive material to each patient before care is provided. If a patient is incapacitated when care begins, we must ensure information is provided once he/she is no longer incapacitated.

We can help you and your family access the information and resources that you need to set up an advanced directive, as well as provide referrals to services that can help you create other long-term planning documents, such as wills.

The state of Washington operates a 24-hour hotline for you to use if you have any concerns or wish to register a complaint concerning the implementation of the advance directive requirements. This toll-free number is 800-633-6828.

Organ Donation

Questions often arise when an individual is considering these types of decisions. If you decide to become a donor, your decision should be recorded with the proper agency or expressed to the Organ Donation Association at 800-422-3310. In Washington State, organ donor designation can be indicated on your driver's license.

Contact Us

MultiCare Home Health, Hospice & Palliative Care Services
253-301-6400 or 888-516-4504
Fax: 253-301-6528

3901 S Fife St.
Tacoma, WA 98409

Mailing Address:
PO Box 5200
Tacoma, WA 98415-0200

For Referrals:

253-301-6500 or 888-516-4505