Adults of all ages should have a living will to ensure their wishes are carried out should something happen to them. As we age, it is more imperative that we have documentation for our health wishes along with any financial requests should we pass. These documents not only give our family members peace of mind knowing that our wishes are taken care of, but also alleviate the burden of having to deal with assets and any other financial decisions. Some helpful documents to have in place are:
- Durable power of attorney- This document gives one person the legal right to conduct matters involving real estate, banking, financial investments, government benefits, beneficiary and estate transactions and any personal maintenance issues.
- Healthcare power of attorney- This allows one person to make health care decisions based on your wishes should you not be able to speak for yourself.
- Living will- This document contains any end of life wishes that you would like to be carried out upon passing.
- DNI/DNR- A do not intubate or do not resuscitate are put in place when a senior does not wish to receive life saving measures. A Do not intubate order states that the person does not wish to have a breathing tube inserted to keep him or her alive, while a do not resuscitate prevents medical personnel from providing CPR.
- Advance Directives- These documents can be some of the most important documents seniors can prepare. Typically, advance directives are a collection of written instructions for a person’s medical care and end of life comfort preferences. These documents include the extent of life saving measures a person wishes to receive such as organ or tissue donation, use of a feeding tube, resuscitation of any kind or the use of life support, dialysis or breathing machines.
No one wants to have a conversation regarding end of life decisions, but it is something we all need to consider to ensure our wishes are carried out. If you or a loved one needs help completing or understanding any of these documents, feel free to contact our office; we can provide assistance at no cost to you.
~Staff at Southern Arizona Eldercare