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Advance Care Planning in the Elderly

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Lum HD1, Sudore RL2, Bekelman DB3


Key components of advance care planning (ACP) for the elderly include choosing a surrogate decision maker, identifying personal values, communicating with surrogates and clinicians, documenting wishes in advance directives, and translating values and preferences for future medical care into medical orders. ACP often involves multiple brief discussions over time. This article outlines common benefits and barriers to ACP in primary care, and provides practical approaches to integrating key ACP components into primary care for older adults. Opportunities for multidisciplinary teams to incorporate ACP into brief clinic visits are highlighted.

Resource: Med Clin North Am. 2015 Mar;99(2):391-403.