Home / Patient / Patient Tools / Heart Failure Educational Modules / Module 9: Advance Care Planning



Heart failure is a serious chronic condition that can shorten your life. With proper management and active self-care, you can feel better, decrease your chances of being in the hospital, and live longer. Advances in treatment can slow, stop, or in some cases reverse the progression of heart failure. However, even with the best medical care, hert failure may progress over time. The progress of heart failure is unpredictable and different for each person, so you may feel uncertain about what to expect in the future. Therefore, it is important for you and your family to talk about how you want to be cared for in the future should you become very ill and unable to make decisions about your medical care. One way to plan for such a possibility is to make an advance care plan.

Making an advance care plan can ease worries about what might happen to you if you are unable to make decisions about your own care or about death and dying. Getting answers to your questions and letting people know what you want at the end of your life can help you feel more in control and give you peace of mind as you go about living your life. An advance care plan is a good idea for all adults, regardless of their medical history.

This module will discuss topics related to advance care planning that you can think about and talk over with your family. There are no right or wrong decisions on these topics, so you can be open and honest about your feelings and make choices that are best for you.

This module will provide information on:

  • Advance care plan components.
  • The importance of an advance care plan.
  • Making an advance care plan.
  • Care choices.
  • Changing your mind.

It will help you:

  • Understand the purpose of an advance care plan.
  • Make your own advance care plan.
  • Understand what to do with your advance care plan.
  • Involve your family, friends, health care providers, and other advisors such as a lawyer in your plans for future medical care.

What Is an Advance Care Plan?

Importance of an Advance Care Plan

Getting Started on an Advance Care Plan

Questions for Your Doctor or Nurse

Discussions with Your Doctor or Nurse

Making Care Choices as Heart Failure Progresses

What to Do with Your Advance Care Plan

Changing Your Mind

Care for the Caretakers

Terms Commonly Used in Advance Care Planning

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