Planning for Senior Healthcare: Spotlight on Advance Directives

Elderly Man Getting Blood Pressure CheckedPlanning for life-threatening and end-of-life situations is vital for everyone. But more so for seniors who have health problems and have strong outlooks regarding life-sustaining or prolonging treatments. To make sure that your wishes would be met in the unfortunate event that you become incapable of voicing them, you need to have advanced directives to tell your family and care team about your preferences.

Advance Directives to Consider

Advance directives are legal documents pertaining the specific healthcare wishes you want to be met if you become incapacitated or incapable of deciding for yourself due to impairment or illness, explains a senior care planner from a top senior care company that offers various senior home health care services in St. Cloud. These usually include the following:

  • The Living Will – This document states the type of medical care you want. It should detail whether or not you want to be put in life support under particular circumstances like when you lose brain activity or fall into an extended coma, or if you’re fine with tube feeding if you can no longer eat usually or become terminally ill.
  • The Medical Power of Attorney – Also referred to as the healthcare proxy or durable power of attorney for healthcare, this document is where you appoint a healthcare proxy that would make healthcare decisions for you if you become incapable of deciding for yourself due to your condition.
  • The DNR or Do Not Resuscitate Order – This states whether or not you want CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation if your heart stops working or can no longer breathe.
  • The DPOA or Durable Power of Attorney – This document is where you designate an individual to make decisions about your finances and property, but not decisions about health care, in the event that you become incapable of making sound decisions for yourself.

Other Crucial Things to Remember

Before drafting these documents, think about your wants and needs. Inform the individual that you want to be your health proxy and power of attorney so that he or she would be ready when the time comes. More importantly, be as specific as possible with your wishes and understand their potential consequences. Likewise, know that should you change your mind at any time, you could do so by drafting new documents.

End-of-life decisions are challenging discussions regardless of your age, but it’s vital that you have them while you’re still capable of having them. This way, your family won’t have to make life-changing decisions during a stressful time, and you could rest easy knowing that all your healthcare wishes would be taken care of.