What You Need to Know About Green Sleeves

What You Need to Know About Green Sleeves

In Alberta, Green Sleeves are often referred to as ‘medical passports.’ They are green plastic pockets that keep your advance care planning documents in a single, easily accessed place. In an emergency situation, Alberta medical providers can review the contents and know what your wishes are. In Alberta most people keep these green plastic envelopes on the refrigerator door where emergency personnel can grab these documents if you can not express your wishes.

Green Sleeves contain the documents listed below, all of which should be updated as your circumstances change.

Personal Directive

Personal directives (PDs) list your important healthcare decisions, in case you are unable to express them competently yourself. They also name one or more people authorized to make personal and healthcare decisions for you if necessary. PDs help reduce distress and conflict among your loved ones because they clearly indicate who your decision maker is and provide direction regarding your wishes.

Goals of Care Designation

A goals of care designation (GCD) is a series of medical instructions put together by your physician after conferring with you. It helps the healthcare team understand your personal goal of treatment in the following areas:

  • Medical Care: Medical tests and illness-treating interventions that do not include life support or resuscitative measures.
  • Resuscitative Care: Medical or surgical interventions intended to extend or preserve life. Includes admission to Intensive Care.
  • Comfort Care: Treatment focused on easing and controlling your symptoms without treating the underlying illness (normally applies when you have a terminal disease or condition).

Tracking Record

Along with the GCD form, the tracking record keeps track of all discussions regarding your advanced care planning, so that medical staff are assured that they are following the most up-to-date directive.

Green Sleeves are available from any Alberta Health Services provider. Once you have one and fill out the forms inside, keep it on your fridge or in its immediate vicinity, as Alberta EMS responders are instructed to look for it there if they are summoned to your home.

When you attend a doctor’s appointment or go into a hospital, your Green Sleeve should accompany you at all times. You should also make copies of all documents in the sleeve and provide them to your family, healthcare agent, and medical services provider.

For assistance in creating a personal directive for inclusion in your Green Sleeve, contact Estate Connection today. We will help you put together a detailed and legally valid document that gives you and your loved ones peace of mind by making your healthcare wishes clear when you are not in a position to.

Written by Stacy Maurier