By Roz Jones
Advance directives are legal documents that outline a person’s healthcare wishes in the event that they become unable to communicate. There are different types of advance directives available, each with its own unique benefits and considerations. In this blog, we will explore the different types of advance directives and how to choose the right one for your loved one’s situation.
Different types of Advance Directives
The two most common types of advance directives are living wills and durable power of attorney for healthcare. A living will is a document that outlines a person’s wishes for end-of-life care, including whether they want life-prolonging treatments such as mechanical ventilation or artificial nutrition and hydration. A durable power of attorney for health care allows a person to appoint a trusted individual to make healthcare decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves.
Considerations for choosing the right type of advance directive for your loved one
When choosing the right type of advance directive, there are several factors to consider. First, it’s important to consider personal values and beliefs when making decisions about healthcare. For example, some individuals may prioritize the quality of life over life-prolonging treatments, while others may want all available treatments to be pursued.
It’s also important to consider the potential scenarios in which the advance directive may come into play. For example, if an individual has a chronic illness or is nearing the end of their life, a living will may be more appropriate. On the other hand, if an individual is at risk of sudden incapacitation due to an accident or illness, a durable power of attorney for health care may be more appropriate.
Another consideration is to ensure that the chosen advance directive complies with state laws. Each state has its own laws and regulations regarding advance directives, so it’s important to research and follow the appropriate guidelines.
Choosing the right type of advance directive is an important decision that should be based on personal values, potential scenarios, and compliance with state laws. By taking the time to carefully consider these factors, individuals can ensure that their healthcare wishes are respected and upheld in the event that they are unable to communicate. Also, talk to them about the benefits of advance directives.
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When creating an Advance Directive, it’s important for you to identify the treatments you want and don’t want at the end of life. In order to begin this process, you will need to complete state-specific forms. This worksheet can prepare you for those decisions you’re going to make on those forms, and for conversations you need to have with family and doctors.