Every year National Health Care Decisions Day is an urgent reminder to consider and review advance care planning for you and your loved ones. A medical crisis can strike at any age. Far too many people wait until there is a medical crisis to discuss advance planning. It may be too late to ensure you, or your loved ones get the care that is wanted in some cases. The Covid-19 Pandemic has undoubtedly altered the way we live, and the focus on advance care planning has taken on a reflective new meaning for many. Having thoughtful decisions established pertaining to your end of life will make the process less stressful for you and your loved ones. Adding uncertainty and anxiety to an already traumatic experience is avoidable. It is equally as important to discuss your wishes in detail with your family as it is to have them in writing. Each state has different and specific requirements on writing legal advance directives. It is important to note that you can end or retract an advanced directive at any time. Beacon Advocates and your health care team can help guide you through the process.
The Most Common Types of Advanced Directives
Living Will- is a legal document in which a person details their medical treatment in extreme circumstances such as terminal illness or in circumstances where the person is no longer able to express informed consent. Some examples include Do not resuscitate orders, use or withholding of IV liquids or food, pain management considerations, and organ donations.
Durable Power of Attorney (Healthcare)- Is a legal document in which you name a person to be a proxy to make your health care decisions in the event you become unable to make those decisions for yourself. If you are deemed incapable of making your own decisions, your proxy is then authorized to speak with your health care team and other caregivers on your behalf. The proxy will them make decisions in accordance with the wishes or directions you gave this person earlier.
Beacon Advocates and your health care team can help guide you through the process. For more information regarding advanced directives contact your trusted cancer care advocates at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855-490-8777