As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, make sure your loved ones
know your wishes.
Focus on controlling what you can.
Help stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home
Protect your health and the health of those around you. The choices we
make today to stop the spread of COVID will help those closest to us tomorrow.
Take care by practicing physical distancing and social connectedness
Focus on reducing physical contact, while maintaining the social and emotional
connections that fulfill you. Reach out to friends and family and let
them know how much you care about them.
Be prepared in case of becoming seriously ill by following these key steps:
Pick your person and make it official. Choose a friend, family member or other trusted person to make medical
decisions on your behalf. We can’t control everything, but we can
control who will speak for us. Talk to a friend, a family member or other
trusted person about becoming your medical care decision-maker if you
can’t make decisions for yourself.
Make sure the person you choose knows what is important to you first and
foremost. Then, document that person in an official state health care
proxy/agent/power of attorney form or an Advance Directive, a term for
any written health care instruction that specifies your wishes or names
a proxy for you.
And if given circumstances mean you can’t make it official make
sure the person you choose knows what is important to you and your preferences
for the amount and types of treatments you would want to receive.
Talk about it. What do you need the person who would make medical decisions for you to
know about what matters to you, so they could speak up for you if you
can’t? We can’t plan for everything. But we can help manage
life’s unknowns by talking openly about what matters to us and what
we’d want most if we became seriously ill with coronavirus disease.
Conversations about things we can’t control can help to give us
a sense of control. We may not be able to predict every choice we’ll
have to make, but we can give those we love the guiding principles to
confidently make decisions for us. If we don’t say it, they won’t know.
Our caregivers may need to make decisions for us, whether we’ve
told them what we want or not. We can’t simply assume they know.
Open conversations can pave a way to clarity, provide comfort and bring
Stay informed on how your local health department is responding to COVID-19. Check the websites of your local and state departments of public health
for updated information on guidelines and procedures.
Know where your loved ones stand. There may be a time when we will need to help the people closest to us—our
friends, our spouses, our parents or grandparents—get medical care
if they become seriously ill with COVID. This means understanding what
is important to them so we can speak on their behalf if they can’t.
Advance Care Planning
The Conversation Project
Virginia Healthcare Decisions Act