If you were incapacitated or very ill, too sick to communicate your own wishes what kind of health care would you want?
That’s the fundamental question behind an advance directive, a vital legal document that everybody must have, but critical for those with life-limiting illnesses. Anyone can wind up sick or hurt and unable to make decisions about medical treatments. An advance directive enables you to spell out your decisions about end of life care and medical care to healthcare professionals, family and friends. It helps to prevent confusion or disagreement about your wishes, which can add pain to an already emotional situation for the family members and loved ones of the ill individual
Advance directives are important legally recognized documents that touch upon core beliefs and values about life, death and the transition between the two. Religious or spiritual beliefs normally play an important role in writing advanced directives. They aren’t complicated, but the content can be complicated and should be thought through very carefully. The individual creating them should spend enough time talking to his/her loved ones, caretakers and physicians about the information that should be included. It’s particularly important to talk with everybody who might be involved about your wishes because in times of stress, others might confuse their own wishes with your wishes.
Due to the fact that it’s impossible to imagine every single scenario that might unfold during the progression of a disease, people might change their minds after they`re written. Advance directives don’t expire and can always be revoked or changed as long as the individual about whom they`re written is legally able to give consent for the change. An Advance Directive remains good until you change it. If you make a new Advance Directive, it cancels the old one.
You should review your advance directive periodically, especially if there’s a change in your health, so that you can make sure that it is up to date. If you change it, be sure to inform your health care providers and have them put it in your health record. You should also share your new directive with the members of your family and other loved ones.
Nobody can force another person to fill an advance directive; it can only be recommended. Those who do not have advanced directives will be given medical attention to the fullest extent appropriate for their situation or illness. If you do not have an advance directive, normally the person’s next of kin is relied upon to make the health care decisions.
Advance directives can give you peace of mind that your present wishes will guide your future medical -care and help the individuals who might one day need to help you.
If you need help or advice on how to get started writing an advance directive, please feel free to contact us at any time. 404-572-9966 and ask to speak with our Director of Nursing. Or you can visit our website and leave your comments there. http://tendertouchatlanta.com/hospice-contact-us