Geriatrics and Extended Care
Advance Care Planning - Group Visits
Why is Advance Care Planning important?
Advance care planning (ACP) refers to the process of planning for decisions about your future health care should you become unable to communicate decisions for yourself. Talking with your loved ones and writing down your future health care decisions can reduce stress during an unexpected health crisis and ensure that your wishes are honored. ACP is not just about terminal illness – it can be used when individuals lose decision-making capacity due to mental illness, accidents or acute medical conditions.
Advance Care Planning via Group Visits (ACP-GV) Program
Through the National Advance Care Planning via Group Visits (ACP-GV) Program, VA offers interactive groups where Veterans and caregivers can join their peers to learn more about the process of planning for future health care needs known as, 'advance care planning.'
ACP-GV engages Veterans, their families and caregivers in advance care planning by facilitating a group discussion that elicits experiences and encourages participants to identify a 'next step' to take in the process of planning for future health care needs.
ACP-GV discussion may include:
- Discussions about the types of health care treatments that may or may not be suitable for you
- Ideas for selecting the person you want to make decisions for you if you become unable
- Experiences about making health care decisions for someone else
- Goals and next steps
From ACP-GV Participants
“I am so glad I attended this group. I had no idea about what I could do to make things easier for me and for my family down the road. Completing my advance directive has given me peace of mind.” -Veteran, White River Junction, VT
“Even though I was already familiar with the topic, this was really a good group. It helped me to refresh myself because it’s one of those things we choose to not think about.” -Veteran, Nashville, TN
"I had the chance to attend a group for myself - with other caregivers in the Caregiver Support Program. The discussion with other caregivers helped me realize that I had been neglecting my own health care planning! I set a goal for myself during group and followed through.” -Caregiver, Houston, TX
VA Advance Directive
The VA Advance Directive form is available for you to complete and review with your family or caregiver. The next time you go to the VA, ask your PACT team or social worker if your location offers the Advance Care Planning via Group Visits (ACP-GV) Program.