Exploring Advance Directives

Know exactly the wishes of your loved one when their health begins to decline.

It can be difficult to explore the unknown and uncertainties of an illness, especially when you’re in an end-of-life transition, but as sensitive as the topic is, it’s important that you receive the care you desire while leaving clear instructions to your loved ones on how to proceed.

An advance directive makes your medical wishes known and can be a true gift to your loved ones if your health begins to rapidly decline as a result of a life-limiting illness.

Bonita Springs Healthcare Services journeys with those who have been impacted by a serious injury or life-limiting illness, providing comprehensive services including palliative and hospice care. Explore more about advance directives in today’s post.

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Preparing For The Unexpected

Catastrophic accidents and life-limiting illness are unfortunate, but they happen all the time. And while we would all like to think that they would never happen to us, it’s important to make plans in case they ever do.

Advance directives are not just for the elderly, but can be created for those who seek to reduce confusion and conflict over medical care if anything should happen and the individual can no longer advocate for themselves.

Advance Care Planning

When embarking on advance care planning, there are two foundational types of advance directives that include a living will or medical power of attorney.

Living Will

I living will are legal documents that reiterate your medical wishes and the care you would like to receive if you become incapacitated. Included in these documents are medical interventions and directives such as:

  • Resuscitation
  • Tube feeding
  • Comfort care
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Organ and tissue donation
  • Dialysis

A living will does not provide any information beyond what’s in the legal document, so it can be somewhat limiting.

Medical Power Of Attorney

A medical power of attorney is also known as a health care proxy, and instead of care being left in legal documents, this option appoints another person of your choosing — often a spouse or adult child — to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.

While you may have a living will prepared for unforeseen medical events, selecting a medical power of attorney, in addition, can cover different aspects of your care that aren’t outlined in legal documents — every situation can’t be anticipated.

How do you choose a medical power of attorney? This is a very personal and critical decision to make, so having an ally and someone who is willing to tackle this tough subject with you is important.

Ensure they’re willing to discuss end-of-life issues, ready to respect the decision you make about your care without judgement and will advocate for you if concerns from other people over your care arise.

Making Medical Decisions On Your Terms

Ensure your medical wishes are honored and secure peace of mind knowing that you have documents and people in place to help support you in your medical directive.

Create a clear directive by:

  • Clearly stating the type of end-of-life care you desire and who you want to appoint
  • Discussing your preferences with those you trust and know will honor your choices
  • Documenting your wishes in a legal format

Essential Considerations For Advance Directives

  • Prepare your advance directive with the guidance of an attorney
  • Continue to review and update your advance directive every year
  • Make an advance directive for any states that you may reside in
  • Ensure your medical power of attorney has updated copies of your advance directive
  • Provide copies of your advance directive to your health care professionals or any other relevant person or party

Get The Support You Need From Bonita Springs Healthcare Services

Bonita Springs Healthcare Services offers a comprehensive and innovative approach to health care through a variety of our palliative services which includes hospice care.

Receiving a life-limiting diagnosis is difficult, but we’re here with you to support you and your loved ones in every part of the journey.

Preventative care planning — advance directives — are important because they allow you to make decisions even when you can no longer personally advocate your needs. Partner with us and learn more about advance care planning and end-of-life care.

Reach out to Bonita Springs Healthcare Services today!