Learn about advance care planning for yourself and loved ones

This has probably been one of the most challenging years that many of us can recall experiencing in our lifetime. It is definitely not one any of us planned for. That word is so critical – “planned.” If you had known this year was coming – if you had been warned about the global pandemic, the economic crisis that would follow and other domino effects that we see occurring – what would you have done differently? 

There are important health and financial decisions to make today. Where will you live if something happens and you’re not able to live by yourself any longer? What happens if you need to bring in professional health care for a loved one, or if a loved one lives in another city or state and you need to arrange care? These are all tough issues, but they are very real, and sometimes arise seemingly out of nowhere.

This is why advance planning is essential. Below are tools that are available to Georgians as they plan ahead for the future:

  • The Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care combined the Durable Power of Attorney for health care and the Georgia Living Will in 2007, which allows one to appoint an agent to make or carry out decisions for one’s health care when he or she is unable to do so. 
  • Details of My Final Arrangements is a planning document and checklist that you and/or your family can use upon the death of a loved one, and also includes other helpful information.
  • Temporary Health Care Placement Decision Maker for an Adult Act is an informational booklet designed to facilitate admissions, transfers and discharges deemed medically necessary when a patient is unable to make or communicate decisions for him or herself.
  • Guardianship Law in Georgia provides an explanation of the law on guardianship and conservatorship, along with other frequently asked questions.
  • Caring from a distance is a guide to assist family members arranging care for a loved one in another city or state.

These and other materials are available on the Division of Aging Services publications beginning at Elder Support: https://aging.georgia.gov/about-us/publications 

The Georgia Senior Legal Hotline can also assist you if you have further questions, and will connect you to the local Elderly Legal Assistance Program in your area.

Metro Atlanta 404-657-9915 

Statewide (toll-free) 888-257-9519