Making out your Advance Directives must be first on your to-do list. It is better to plan in advance than to rely on fantasies of how we think others would react to making decisions for us. Others may make decisions that may be in their own best interest, not yours. Unplanned events sometimes occur in our lives that may take away the opportunity for us to make our own decisions. Why burden others with the expense and timely legal problems.
A living will allows you to document your wishes concerning medical treatment when you are unable to speak for yourself or nearing the end of life. A medical power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to be your health care agent, usually, someone you trust, who will be authorized to make medical and health care decisions, (medical treatment, care provider, and environment) on your behalf.
No matter what your age is or how long you expect to be in good health or to be alive planning for your health care in the event of a medical health crisis is a priority. Give yourself a voice. For many of us, it is very difficult to talk to the ones we love about events that we do not want to see as possible or inevitable.
Talking to those you love about what to do in the event of a medical health crisis is important even though it is impossible to foresee every event or circumstance. Bringing in your family and friends into the process will help you get a feeling for who may be best able and willing to support the decisions that are important for you.
When talking about your decisions it is important to consider your values and beliefs, as this is very personal. Advance Directives can be changed as your health circumstance changes. With age and changes in lifestyle habits, our physical bodies may be prone to certain disease progression or debilitating impairments of one kind or another. So reviewing and updating your advance directives is important.
Talk to your medical provider or doctor and let them know that you are making your advance directives. They will be glad to know this. Your doctor can answer your questions about your health and explain treatments and possible outcomes. Let your Doctor know about the quality of life you want in the event of a medical health crisis. >Find out if your doctor is willing to follow your wishes, as the law does not require them to if they disagree and feel it is unethical or against their morals.
Consider the following:
- Current age, lifestyle, and activity.
- How do you feel about doctors, caregivers, and caregiving environments?
- Your religious beliefs and your morals, values, and ethical attitudes about care and illness.
- Attitude about control and independence and the possible loss.
- Health, illness, fearful situations of death and dying.
When you are ready to appoint a health care agent you may want to select someone you trust and who understands your decisions. The person you select can be a spouse/partner, family member, or friend. It needs to be someone who is willing to act on your behalf. Some individuals may not be able to act on your behalf if they do not understand or agree with what you determine is the best and appropriate treatment for you. It is important to clarify what you want to reduce any remorseful feelings. Keep in mind that health care agents can make medical decisions when you are unable to, not just at life end.
You can obtain Advance Directives and Medical Power of Attorneys from your local hospital, long-term care facility, your physician may have them available, your local libraries reference desk, and your local Senior Law Office.
Partnership for Caring – Provides additional information about Advance Directives and Health Care Powers of Attorney. They also provide forms that you can download for free. All they require is you completing a simple registration form. They do not share your information. Go to this link now to get your free Advance Directives: Partnership For Caring