Caring for your growing elders can be stressful yet rewarding. You help maintain their health and bring a smile to their face. However, as they grow older, it is important that you consider more drastic situations in your care plan. An advanced care plan must be created for the benefit of your elders, yourself, and your family. An advanced care plan includes a living will, power of attorney, health care proxy, and a do not resuscitate order (DNR). This care plan is made to determine treatment directives and should be updated as health care related events occur.
It is crucial that there is communication when you construct an advanced care plan. You must consider your elder’s values. What are your loved one’s personal values and beliefs? Do they value religious practices or want family members to be present during their passing? These are personal beliefs that should be addressed and considered when creating a care plan.
Also consider your loved one’s preferences. Do they wish medication to be withheld? Do they wish to have CPR performed in an event of a medical emergency? Although this may be a difficult conversation to have, it is important that it is discussed. This will prevent a future conflict with your family.
Remember that you also have resources. There are professionals such as lawyers, social workers, clergy members, counselors, and more that are available to assist you. Constructing an advanced care plan is difficult to do. Do not feel that you are alone in the process.
What to Include in an Advanced Care Plan
Living Wills. Livings wills are also called medical directives. They are written instructions that determine what medical decisions will be made in case of an event. They are written by your the individual in this situation. 47 states and the District of Columbia have laws that authorize and legalize living wills. However, each state has different requirement and regulations, so it is crucial you research you state.
Power of Attorney. A power of attorney is the same as durable power of attorney. These documents determine the person that your elder will appoint to make medical decisions on their behalf. If your elder is unable to make a health care decision, the power of attorney will determine the next step. They will be able to make decisions even if your elder does not have a terminal illness.
Health Care Proxy. These individuals are also substitute decision makers for your elders. These individuals are similar to a power of attorney. However, some states regulate the decisions the proxy can make. All 50 states and the District of Columbia recognize this individual as an adequate decision maker.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order. This is a physician’s written order on behalf of your elder. It is attached to your elder’s medical record. DNRs will indicate whether your health care provider should attempt to perform life-saving measures such as CPR in events of heart attacks and cardiac or respiratory arrest. If your elder is able to make this decision, the physician will approve and carry out this order.
This is not an easy conversation to have. However, it is a conversation that must happen in order to maintain your elders wishes. Furthermore, it prevents future conflict between your elder, yourself, and your family and friends.
Genivity is here to help. We place emphasis on helping advisors with goal-based financial planning that incorporates health wealth factors to provide personalized reporting. Genivity can assist you in determining how your family members health impacts their future care planning. To determine how their health impacts their care plan, advise your family members to ask for an assessment with Genivity’s HALO to their financial advisors.