What kind of medical care would you want to receive if you were too sick or hurt to express your wishes? Advance Directives are legal documents that allow you to explain your decisions about end-of-life care in advance. They give you a way to express your wishes to family, friends and health professionals and avoid confusion later on. A power of attorney for medical or medical care is a type of advance directive in which you name a person to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so. In some states, this directive may also be referred to as a permanent power of attorney for health care or power of attorney for health care.
Advance care planning involves learning about the types of decisions to make, considering those decisions ahead of time, and then informing others about your preferences, both your family and your health care providers. You also have tips for selecting your health care agent and preparing and storing your advance directives. An advance directive allows you to give directions for these types of situations and then change them as you age or if your point of view changes. On this website, you can get information and purchase the Five Wishes Advance Directive and Planning Guide, which is available in 26 languages and in Braille.
Advance directives are documents that you create to describe the scope of medical treatment you want to receive, or don't want to receive, if you become unconscious or are too sick to communicate. Review your advance directives with your doctor and health care agent to make sure you have filled out the forms correctly. A POLST also indicates what advance directives you have created and who acts as your health care agent. Because you may change your advance directives in the future, it's a good idea to keep track of who gets a copy.
These preferences are often included in an advance directive, a legal document that comes into effect only if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. For example, it's probably not unusual for someone to say in conversation, “I don't want to go to a nursing home,” but think carefully if you want a restriction like that on your advance directive. It offers worksheets, forms, and help to complete advance directives and to talk with family, friends, and healthcare providers about your health care wishes. Advance directives guide options for doctors and caregivers if you have a terminal illness, a serious injury, are in a coma, in the late stages of dementia or near the end of life.
There are two main elements in an advance directive: a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care. During this bedside surgery, the tube is inserted directly into the trachea through a hole in the neck. You should discuss the changes with your primary care physician and ensure that a new directive replaces an old directive in your medical record.