Families often experience anxiety when a loved one requires long term care services. An elderly person who undergoes senior therapy and rehabilitation usually gains greater peace of mind by completing advance medical directives. Taking this step also assists the patient’s family members.
These documents help clarify decision making about a variety of potentially important health care issues. In fact, most experts urge seniors to consider completing advance directives even before requiring medical services, if possible. Today, medical facilities frequently make advance directive forms available to assist patients.
About Advance Directives
Advance directives basically instruct medical care providers and others about a patient’s wishes in the event of incapacitation. These instructions often address living wills, medical powers of attorney, and wishes concerning “do not resuscitate” directives. Sometimes advance directives also include specific instructions concerning organ donations.
Important Issues to Consider
It usually makes sense for seniors to consider advance directives carefully before reaching any decisions about these instructions. Some questions to ask yourself include:
- If I ever become incapacitated, who is best suited to make medical decisions for me?
- Do I prefer health care providers to use every available medical tool to keep me alive (including life support technologies)? Are there any procedures I do not want conducted?
- If my health care proxy cannot make medical decisions for me, who do I designate as a substitute medical proxy?
By making these types of directives in advance, before medical issue arise, patients gain peace of mind knowing they have expressed their wishes clearly. The availability of written advance directives assists close family members during a crisis. These instructions help alleviate confusion and potential disagreements concerning the provision of care.
The Importance of Clear Communications
Before signing advance medical directives, notify anyone you’d like to name as your health care proxy. Make absolutely certain this individual wants to accept the responsibility of making medical decisions for you. Also check with anyone considered as a possible substitute medical proxy (in the event your chosen proxy also becomes incapacitated).
Experts also recommend communicating advance directives clearly to close family members and friends. By ensuring everyone knows about your decisions, you’ll help prevent possible disputes or hurt feelings down the road. This important subject deserves careful attention!