“Why would I need an advance directive? For that matter, what is an advance directive?” These are important decisions you need to make…not for your parents, but for yourself.
- A Living Will is a legal document that designates what your healthcare wishes are if you are in a terminal condition and can’t make decisions for yourself.
- A Power of Attorney for Healthcare is a legal document where you have designated someone to make healthcare care decisions if you are unable to do so. (A lawyer should assist you in preparing a durable Power of Attorney document to designate who will make your financial decisions.)
I know you don’t want to think about anything as frightening as your mortality. Well, get over it. One guarantee is that we all have a terminal condition…called life.
This guest post is by Lisa Newburger, LISW-S , a “recovering” social worker. Lisa makes difficult topics easier to talk about. She can be reached at www.DiscussDirectives.com.
Think about it. What would you want if you were in a persistent vegetative state where you didn’t know who you were, couldn’t communicate, couldn’t think, and were in limbo? Would you want to be kept alive at all costs? What if you do not want to be kept alive on machines? How will you get your wishes known?
You need to have “the conversation” with your partner/friends/family. Talking about it and putting something in writing is the only way to do this. Download the free state approved legal documents. Each state has different laws, so make sure you are completing the ones for where you live.
If you are looking for tools to help you start “the conversation” or figure out what you want and capture this information, you will want to look at the Heart2Hearts® product line at DiscussDirectives. The “playing” cards provide 52 ways to start talking about the hard stuff, and a game card as to how to use them. The workbook will help you to figure out what your wishes are, and it’s another source document to help your loved ones to make decisions that reflect your choices.
After completing the documents, then what? Distribute them. They do no good sitting in your safe deposit box or in your locked file cabinet at home. Give them to all your doctors, the hospital you frequent, all your family members/family of choice/friends, and put it in the glove compartment of your car. This way in an emergency, they are with you.
No excuses. It is free to download. It is what anyone between the age of 18 and up needs to do. You need to take care of your personal business, as that is the best gift you can give your loved ones and yourself.