As our loved ones age, the need to plan for their future is an essential step in their well-being. One of the most important decisions that can be made is to have a conversation with your senior family member about living wills and directives. Having these conversations can be uncomfortable, but they are necessary for providing peace of mind and ensuring that wishes are honored when it matters most. In this blog post, we will discuss what families should know about living wills and directives for their senior parents or relatives.
What is a Living Will?
A living will is a legal document that outlines a person’s wishes regarding medical care in the event that they become unable to make decisions for themselves due to illness or incapacity. It generally includes information such as whether or not the person wants life-saving treatments, the use of artificial nutrition and hydration, and other medical procedures. It also specifies who should have control over any medical decisions in the event of incapacitation.
What is an Advanced Directive?
An advanced directive (also known as an advance health care directive) is another type of legal document that allows you to specify who you want to make decisions on your behalf if you are ever unable to make them yourself. This document goes beyond just medical decisions; it also covers issues such as finances, property management, end-of-life care, and more. You can name different people for different roles in this document; for example, one person may be responsible for making healthcare decisions while another handles financial matters.
What Should You Do?
It’s important to talk with your parents or relatives about their wishes before situations arise where those decisions may be needed.. If both parties understand each other’s desires beforehand, then it will be easier to handle any difficult situations without having too much stress or confusion during an already tough time. Living wills and directives can provide reassurance that your loved one’s wishes are honored even if they are no longer able to speak up for themselves.
Having family conversations about living wills and directives can feel uncomfortable at first but they provide valuable peace of mind knowing that our family members' wishes will be respected should anything happen in the future. Ultimately, having these documents in place can provide critical support for both seniors and their families when it comes time for decisions to be made. Having these conversations and being prepared with legal documents can help ensure that everyone’s wishes are respected. If you have senior relatives who have not yet created a living will or advance directive, now is the perfect time to start discussing what they would like included in these documents so everyone involved knows exactly what their wishes are—and can rest assured knowing those wishes will be honored when the time comes.
Navigating these issues for your loved one can be an overwhelming task, but you don’t have to go through it alone. The expert advisors at Senior Care Authority are here to help! We offer a variety of services designed to help seniors live their best life possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your family.