VHA Social Work
National 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.
The process of advance care planning may include completing a living will and/or identifying the person you trust to make health care decisions for you if you cannot communicate them yourself. Groups are open to everyone regardless of your health status, age or knowledge of advance care planning. Feel free to bring a loved one of friend to the group with you.
Any time a person is unable to communicate their health care decisions (in situations such as serious injury, unconsciousness, mental health crisis), advance care planning can assist health care providers, caregivers and trusted others in decision-making.
The group may discuss:
- Experiences related to making healthcare decisions for another person.
- Considerations for determining the person you trust to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to communicate them for yourself.
- Goals and next steps toward completing an advance directive form.
Check with Social Work Service or your PACT Social Worker to get more information on advance care planning and the availability of groups in your area.
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
"My VA providers have asked me about completing and advance directive so many times they have even given me copies of the form! It never made sense to me until I attended and ACP-GV group."-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
|VA Form 10-0137 VA-Advance Directive||VA Form 10-0137||If you have already thought about your health care decisions, you may be ready to complete an advance directive now. The VA advance directive form is available online or your PACT team can provide a copy|
|VA Form 10-0137 (Spanish) - VA Advance Directive (Spanish)||VA Form 10-0137 (Spanish)||Si ya ha pensado en sus decisiones de atención médica, es posible que esté listo para completar una directiva anticipada ahora. La versión en español del formulario de directiva anticipada de VA está disponible en línea o su equipo de PACT puede proporcionar una copia.|
|VA Form 10-0137A - What You Should Know about Advance Directives||VA Form 10-0137A||Learn more about making decisions for future health care by speaking with your PACT team. You can also learn more by reviewing VA’s “What You Should Know about Advance Directives.”|
- Worksheet: Advance Care Planning via Group Visits (ACP-GV) Participant Worksheet
- Educational Handout: What You Should Know About Advance Directives
- Worksheet: Mental Health Care Preferences (Attach to your VA Advance Directive Form. Initial and date each page)
- Podcast: What's An Advance Directive, and Why Should I Complete One? (6:35)
- Podcast: Choosing A Health Care Agent (5:36)
- Podcast: I’ve Been Chosen as A Health Care Agent – Now What? (4:50)
- Workbook: Planning for Future Health Care Decisions
- Website: Geriatrics & Extended Care - Advance Care Planning https://www.va.gov/geriatrics/pages/advance_care_planning_topics.asp
- Website: Soical Work - Directory of ACP-GV Site Leads: https://www.socialwork.va.gov/ACP-GV_Site_Leads.asp
Advance care planning documents are available through VA providers or by visiting Advance Care Planning - Geriatrics and Extended Care. Non-Veterans may also want to visit https://www. nhpco.org/patients-and-caregivers/* for more information.
Every adult over the age of 18 should take some time to consider the difficult questions that occur in advance care planning. Still, it is especially critical if they have been diagnosed with a chronic disease. Advance care planning provides documented directions for healthcare providers, caregivers, and family members, that support the patient’s wishes and identifies a person who can advocate for their wishes if they are unable to for themself.
To assist you with signing up for an advance care planning group discussion or to learn more, including when groups are offered, contact your local VA Healthcare System ACP-GV Site Lead.