It is vital to begin preparing for any potential long-term care needs now, even if the need is not imminent. When it comes to planning for long-term care, there’s a lot to consider. You’ll want to make decisions on things like:
- Health-related matters
- Legal matters
- Financial matters
There are a multitude of documents related to each of those decisions, and it can be quite confusing figuring out exactly what documents you actually need. To make legal decisions, there are three documents that are highly recommended. They are:
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- A Living Will (also called an Advanced Directive)
- A DNR (do-not-resuscitate order), if desired.
Health Care Power of Attorney
Also known as a durable power of attorney for health care, this document is one that names and gives someone the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf. Whomever you choose needs to both understand and respect any values and beliefs you have regarding your health care. It is important to talk with the person before naming them as your agent in order to make sure they are comfortable assuming the role.
This document is also called a health care directive, and it keeps track of any of your wishes for medical treatment approaching the end of life. It should clearly state which types of life-sustaining treatments you do or do not wish to receive if you are considered terminally ill, permanently unconscious, or are in the end stages of a fatal illness. For instance, a living will can state whether you want to receive artificial breathing if you can no longer breath on your own. You can learn more about living wills by clicking the link.
Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Order
A DNR order informs health care providers you do not wish to be revived through CPR or other forms of life support if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating. It should be signed by a health care provider and inserted in your medical chart. Hospitals and long-term care facilities have these forms that a staff member can assist you in filling out. A DNR order is not required.
If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.