Most people go through the majority of their lives able to make important medical decisions for themselves once they reach adulthood. Unfortunately for some, accidents, illnesses, and disabilities may strike unexpectedly, leaving them unable to make such decisions.
Getting an advance directive before such incidents is imperative.
It’s Easier Than You Think
An advance directive gives another person the authority to speak for you and make decisions on your behalf if you can’t do it for yourself. It’s a surprisingly simple process. You can download the form you need online.
Then, simply fill it out, have it signed by two people not named in the document, and give it to your doctor to include in your medical file. You can make your statements as general or specific as you like, but the more specific you are, the more likely it is that you’ll have the outcome you want.
Decide on Final Healthcare Wishes
For most people, reaching the point where you can’t make healthcare decisions for yourself means that the end of your life is approaching. As a part of your advance directive, consider including your wishes regarding your end-of-life care.
Include whether you prefer hospice care over medical treatments. Opting for hospice care can help avoid the stress of a hospital stay. By making these decisions early and writing them down in your advance directive, you can avoid unnecessary pain, procedures, or hospitalization.
Help Your Loved Ones Help You
It’s not always easy to make healthcare decisions on someone else’s behalf. That’s especially true if you don’t know what they want because it was never clearly explained. An advance directive helps your loved ones help you while minimizing any burden placed on them. They’ll appreciate the peace of mind that comes from knowing they’re doing what you wanted. It can also preserve family relationships that might otherwise be strained due to conflicts arising from confusion regarding your healthcare. After all, what one person thinks is in someone’s best interest isn’t always the same as what someone else might think.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst. It’s a good way to operate when it comes to important things like your medical care. While the hope is that you can make medical decisions for yourself, there are no guarantees in life. Have an advance directive put in place if you don’t have one already so you know you’ll have an advocate if you can’t speak for yourself.
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