Patient Resources

Advance Care Planning

A time may come when you are unable to speak for yourself or make your own decisions regarding health care. We hope to ensure that your wishes with regards to health care are known and carried out by your healthcare team. Walter Reed Bethesda’s Advance Care Planning team is committed to ensuring that your healthcare care wishes are carried out.

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance care planning is about doing what you can do to ensure that health care treatment you may receive is consistent with your wishes and preferences should you be unable to make your own decisions or speak for yourself. There are several written documents available for us to express our care wishes and/or appoint a surrogate decision-maker if we become unable to make our own decisions. Equally important is making sure that our surrogate knows and understands our care preferences.

Whether someone is facing an acute illness, a long-term chronic illness or a terminal illness, advance care planning can help alleviate unnecessary suffering, improve quality of life and provide better understanding of the decision-making challenges facing the individual and his or her caregivers. An advance care plan can be used at any stage of life and should be updated as circumstances change.


Healthy Aging
Advance Care Planning (CDC)
Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.