Advance Directives are an important way to ensure you are given exactly the kind of care you wish to receive, either through a living will or by designating a health care proxy, sometimes called a health care power of attorney. You do not need an attorney to create an advance directive, and these steps will help make the process easier.
– First, decide whether you want to create a living will or designate a health care proxy. A living will allows you to make your own health decisions before you become incapable of making those decisions at a later time. A health care proxy is someone who will make those decisions on your behalf.
– Next, discuss your decision with your loved ones. Explain to them the reasons behind your decision. If you create a living will, explain why you have selected those health care decisions for yourself. If you decide to designate a health care proxy, determine who will be the best person to fill that role. It should be someone you trust, and someone who has the same core beliefs about treatment as you do.
– Then, fill out the actual advance directive. A simple way to do that is by completing the Five Wishes document, which is available from Liberty HomeCare & Hospice Services. Make copies for your family, doctor and any other health care agent.
– Finally, review your advance directive periodically. As the years pass, you may decide to change your wishes, or designate a different health care proxy if you have chosen one.
These steps will help you make the best choices for yourself, while also keeping loved ones aware of those choices. That’s the best solution for all involved.