Health Tip: How Can I Plan for the Unthinkable?
Whether preparing for a vacation, the holidays or even your retirement, we all know the importance of thinking ahead. But have you ever thought about planning for your health future? Spending some time thinking about advance directives can help you lead the life you want by sharing your health care preferences with your physician, family and close friends.
There are two types of advance directives: living wills and durable power of attorney for health care. Living wills are documents that outline the type of life-sustaining treatment and procedures you wish to receive including mechanical respirators, kidney dialysis and CPR. A power of attorney document allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. Advance directives may be cancelled or changed at any time, and it’s advised to give a copy to people you trust.
Here are some helpful steps when drafting your advance directives:
- Reflect—identify what is most important to you and your loved ones
- Talk—discuss preferences as they pertain to artificial nutrition and hydration, mechanical respirators, resuscitation, comfort care, longevity of treatments/procedures, organ and tissue donation
- Act—consult your attorney or legal counsel. Professionals can provide you with the proper documents and can answer any questions.
- Maintain—periodically review your advance directive and keep it up to date. Keep a card in your wallet that states you have an advance directive with contact information of who will have a copy or know where the directive is located.
Questions about aging? Contact us today or call 402.486.8520 | 800.418.9335.