2018 Advance Care Planning Media Release

Indiana Health Care Consent Law Changes Take Effect July 1

Updated Advance Care Planning brochure available from AIHS

Fort Wayne, IN – Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Inc. (AIHS) reminds the community that changes to Indiana’s laws that impact Advance Care Planning will take effect July 1, 2018. Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a process for making decisions related to an individual’s healthcare and for communicating those decisions in a manner to make them known, and binding. According to AIHS board chair and elder law attorney Keith Huffman, “People often forget that Advance Care Planning is a process of decision-making that is not static. These changes are the time to look at what you have in place, and make updates that reflect the changes in the laws, your health status and your relationships.” 

AIHS, on behalf of the Northeast Indiana Coalition for Advance Care Planning (NICA), has created a brochure incorporating the changes titled “Advance Care Planning: A guide to communicating your preferences for care when you can no longer speak for yourself.” The brochure is available upon request at no charge by contacting AIHS’ Aging & Disability Resource Center direct line 260-469-3036.  

NICA coordinator Katie Hougham suggests that individuals without any ACP documents in place ask themselves these questions – “If you couldn’t speak for yourself, who would you want to speak for you, and what would you want them to say?” The next step is to document those conversations and record those choices using the appropriate legal document. There are several types of legal documents known as advance directives that can be obtained through an attorney or healthcare provider. A 2013 survey by The Conversation Project found 82% of people believe it’s important to put their wishes into writing, however, only 23% have actually done so. Hougham states that the ACP process is often overlooked – “it’s always too early until it’s too late.”

NICA was formed in 2013 to bring together regional organizations in supporting the passage of laws related to ACP. Honoring Choices® Indiana is an initiative committed to promoting and sustaining ACP across the state to ensure individuals’ future health care preferences are discussed, documented and honored. Collectively, the partners that comprise Honoring Choices® Indiana – including hospitals, health systems, community groups, educators and faith-based organizations – are helping fulfill the vision that everyone in Indiana receives care that honors personal values and goals in catastrophic or end-of-life care. Honoring Choices® Indiana is part of a 13-state network that shares information, resources and best practices

To learn more about AIHS, visit www.agingihs.org. To learn more about Advance Care Planning, click on Programs & Resources. Organizations interested in joining NICA or Honoring Choices® Indiana may contact Hougham at 260-745-1200, Ext. 334.

Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Inc. (AIHS), a federal and state designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), is a non-profit community-based organization with a mission to promote dignity, independence, and advocacy for older adults, persons with disabilities and their caregivers. AIHS has gained national recognition as a community leader transforming the traditional social services model into an integrated care model which bridges health care, behavior health and community services to better serve vulnerable, at-risk populations.

Click here to view 2018 Advance Care Planning Media Release