RESOURCES

Having conversations about your health care choices can be difficult.

My Life My Choices makes it easier for patients and families, health care providers and faith leaders, to have these conversations by providing you the resources below.

Please share these resources with others who you think may benefit from them.

ADVANCE CARE PLANNING: WHAT IS IT?

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a process that helps you think about, talk about, and write down your wishes and choices for future health care—should you become unable to speak for yourself.

This may not be easy, but the conversation and written plan is important. Here’s why:

Talking through your goals for end-of-life care (out loud, with someone else) helps your loved ones better understand your choices. The written plan names the person you want to speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself.

More than anything, you are giving your loved ones a sense of comfort knowing how to properly honor your wishes.

My Life My Choices seeks to promote Advance Care Planning by empowering all South Carolinians to make these critical decisions. We work with health care providers to increase awareness about Advance Care Planning, and provide resources to help you:

  1. THINK about what matters most to you; what are your values and beliefs and how do they impact the care you might want.
  2. TALK about it with your family, other loved ones, and doctors so that they can see why your choices are important to you. This will help them if they have to make decisions for your care when you cannot speak for yourself.
  3. WRITE down your choices to help everyone know your wishes and increase their ability to honor those wishes.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Advance care planning is not a single conversation, or a one-time signing of forms, but is for you to live in a way that is meaningful to you, for as long as you live.

  • You can ALWAYS change your mind, even after you put plans into writing.
  • Life changes. You should review your plans from time to time, to make sure they still express your wishes as your situation changes.

We recommend that you review your advance care plan once per year or after:

  • A decade of life passes, as preferences change over time;
  • The death of a loved one, as this is time for reflection of ‘what matters most’;
  • A divorce, to revisit your selected health care power of attorney;
  • A serious diagnosis, so you may focus on the new goals related to your care;
  • A significant decline in your functionality.

By visiting this website, you have already started the process of advance care planning. Talking about your thoughts and choices is the most important step.

Remember, this is an ongoing conversation and things may change over time. That is perfectly okay.

It’s your life, make your health care choices known. Start your advance care planning today. It’s never too early, until it’s too late.

FAITH BASED RESOURCES

For many South Carolinians, faith plays an important role in their choices for future care.

This guide by The Conversation Project is designed to help churches and other faith groups support members in having conversations about health care choices with their loved ones and their doctors.

SOUTH CAROLINA HEALTH CARE DECISIONS MONTH (APRIL)

The purpose of South Carolina Health Care Decisions Month is to inspire, educate, and empower YOU to take control of end-of-life health care decisions.

The goal is to encourage you to express your wishes to others regarding health care advance directives, and to document those wishes to make sure providers and facilities respect them, whatever they may be.

This April, health care facilities, health care professionals, religious leaders, the legal community, and others across the state will be participating in a collective effort to highlight the importance of advance care planning and to provide tools for making these decisions.