Step 1 Decide

Sharing your values and letting others know your preferences for future care is important, especially if you cannot speak for yourself. Talk with the important people in your life about what matters to you.

Decide who you want to have those all-important conversations with and who you would like to speak for you if you can’t make your own healthcare decisions. This might be a spouse, an adult child, a co-worker or a close friend. It’s anyone you can trust to speak for you. You should choose an alternate person as well.

There are many terms for this designated person: health care proxy, health care agent, medical power of attorney or power of attorney for healthcare.

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