Making Your Advance Care Planning Documents Accessible

As you can imagine, if no one can access your advance directives at your time of need, then it’s as if you never put the time and thought into creating them! So you’ll want to find a way of making them accessible that works for you. 

 

OPTIONS FOR ACCESS:

 

  1. Make lots of hard copies of all of your medical directives and distribute them to your agent and alternate agents. Keep an extra set of copies at home to grab if you go to the hospital. Keep a set in your glove box for the same reason. It’s often recommended to bring a copy to your PCP, though he/she will likely NOT be involved in any hospitalization you might have. FREE

  2. Scan and email your documents  to your loved ones and ask them to make a file that they will be able to find later. And/or save copies on thumb drives you can share,--and save as a back-up in a safe place. FREE

  3. Create a cloud storage account on Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.  People have told me that you can password protect this file, but if it is just your advance directives, that may not be necessary. If you are wanting to share your list of accounts and passwords, then it will be worth learning how to encrypt the file. The app Secure File Encryption Drive add-on is one option.  FREE

  4. My Directives iPhone App: You can upload all of your documents to the website, and then they are available on your iPhone using a passcode. FREE

  5. Docubank. The info and sign-up form is in your binder in section 4. You upload your documents (Fax, scan or snail mail) to them and they send you an ID card with the 24 hour access information on it. They also send you stickers to place on your Driver’s License/ID and health insurance card indicating that the Docubank ID card is in your wallet. $99/Five years is the discounted price I can offer, (usually $145).

  6. My Road ID is a silicone clasp ID bracelet with emergency ID info engraved on it and access to uploaded medical information. Your Online Profile allows you to create an Emergency Response Profile, -the basics, and you can also upload your medical directives. Your info profile and/or directives are accessible via the info engraved on the inside of the bracelet. Accessible by First Responders 24 hours a day via internet AND telephone $27.99 for the bracelet;  $19.99 for Fitbit Sidekick, $29.99 for iWatch Sidekick. $9.99/year fee

  7. Medicalert is mainly an ID bracelet with your emergency contacts and your medical profile info on it. You can indicate you are a DNR, have diabetes, etc. $24.99/year.  There is an option to pay a higher fee and be able to upload your advance directives for $74.99/year. The mid-range option at $49.99 and the higher priced option both offer wandering support and emergency contact notification.

  8. DNR bracelet or necklace. If you are just wanting to communicate your DNR status, you can purchase a bracelet or necklace from Award and Sign.  They require you to send them a copy of your signed CPR Directive or MOST form.  https://awardandsign.com/shop-now/do-not-resuscitate/  $27.95 for the jewelry. No fee after that. But you cannot upload your directives.

Your loved ones also need to know where any other End-of-Life Planning documents you've prepared beyond your Health Care Advance Directives, such as your Funeral Planning, are kept. A single binder or folder is a good start!