Our lives are unpredictable. And though an advance health care directive can be something we want to put off, thinking about end-of-life decisions today can help provide peace of mind that your values and preferences about your medical care will be heard in the future. Additionally, it will ease the burden of decision-making on your loved ones.
Advance directives consist of the following documents:
- Living will. This written, legal document outlines the types of health care procedures and life-sustaining actions a patient would or would not prefer, including mechanical breathing (respiration and ventilation), tube feeding or resuscitation.
- Health care power of attorney (POA). The health care POA is a legal document that specifies an individual to make health care choices on the patient’s behalf if the patient is unable to do so independently. (This is different from a power of attorney which designates someone to make financial transactions.) An Authorization to Release Protected Healthcare Information form may also be required.
An advance health care directive offers a definitive statement concerning your choice to prolong your life or to withhold or withdraw treatment, and should be developed by all individuals aged 18 or over; so if you haven’t yet given consideration to your desires, there’s no better time than now to assess your preferences and to make sure they’re clearly and legally documented. It’s vital to note as well that an advance health care directive can be changed at any time if your preferences should ever change.
Although you are not obligated to find legal advice to develop an advance directive, it may well be a good idea to do so to guarantee that the ultimate guidelines for your wishes are stated properly.
When your loved ones are aware of your preferences for treatment, they can dedicate their energy to providing necessary care and compassion, without concern over legal issues.
Harmony Home Health & Hospice is always available to help older adults in any way needed to ensure their preferences are attained, both now and in the future. We provide a variety of customized in-home health care services and hospice care in Albuquerque & nearby communities to ensure life is the best it can be.
Whether the need is for support with nursing care needs, skilled care for Alzheimer’s, or speech therapy needs, our professional care staff can assist based on each individual’s specific needs and desired schedule. Email or call us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) to learn more about our home health care and hospice in Albuquerque and the surrounding communities.