Advance care planning ensures that your health care decisions are in your hands – even when you’re mentally or physically incapable of speaking for yourself. Advance care planning involves learning about the types of medical decisions that may need to be made, considering those decisions ahead of time and then letting family members know about your preferences, often by putting them into an advance directive, according to the National Institute on Aging.
More than one in four Americans face crucial medical decisions that affect end-of-life care, but are not capable of making those decisions, according to the National Institute on Aging. Do you and your loved ones have an advance directive?
“An advance directive is a legal document that goes into effect only if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself,” according to the National Institute on Aging. “This could be the result of disease or severe injury – no matter how old you are. It helps others know what type of medical care you want. It also allows you to express your values and desires related to end-of-life care. You might think of an advance directive as a living document – one that you can adjust as your situation changes because of new information or a change in your health.”
Seventy percent of Americans do not have an advance care plan, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Often times a lack of planning can result in questions, confusion or disagreement among family members. If a medical emergency hindered your ability to speak for yourself, would your family members be able to speak for you?
What would you want in the event of a life-threatening illness or injury? The National Institute on Aging lists a few scenarios to consider:
- If a stroke leaves you paralyzed and then your heart stops, would you want CPR? What if you were also mentally impaired by a stroke – does your decision change?
- What if you develop dementia, don’t recognize family and friends and, in time, cannot feed yourself? Would you want a feeding tube used to give you nutrition?
- What if you are permanently unconscious and then develop pneumonia? Would you want antibiotics and a ventilator used?
Consider scenarios like above, and document your preferences in writing with an advance directive.
“An advance directive can include the name of the individual whom you have chosen to speak and make decisions on your behalf,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This person, your ‘health care proxy’ or ‘durable power of attorney for health care’ should be someone you trust and someone who understands and will strive to honor and carry out your wishes.”
Many states have their own advance directive forms. Once you and your family members have completed an advance directive, ensure that copies are provided to your health care proxy, your health care providers and your local hospital.
We at Synergy HomeCare Corona/Riverside understand the importance of family communication and planning, and encourage you and your loved ones to discuss medical and health care plans and decisions. Facing these difficult decisions now will put you and your loved ones at ease in the future.
Do you have questions about how home care services can be implemented into your advance directive? Call us at Synergy HomeCare, and we can help guide you and your loved ones through the multiple home care services that we offer, from stroke rehabilitation to cancer and memory care to personal assistance and care management.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside
Synergy HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is the name you can trust in Corona, Norco, Riverside, Chino, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar for personal home care. Synergy HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. Synergy HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. Synergy HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at /agencies/ca/corona/ca18/. The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 951-280-9808 and [email protected] .