If your elderly family member hasn’t already thought about putting together an advance directive, it might be time for her to think about doing so. You can help her to get this important paperwork in order before she needs it.
Make Sure You Both Understand What She Wants
Advance directives are a way for you and your aging family member to get clear about the end-of-life care that she wants and needs. You may be preparing for some situations that you’re not sure will come to fruition, but that’s okay. The point is to understand exactly what your family member wants so that you can meet those wishes.
Keep Copies of Her Advance Directives on Hand
Because your senior’s advance directive is a legal document, you may need to have access to it at a moment’s notice. It’s important for her medical team to have copies, too. Make sure that your copy is easy for you to get to and that you’ve got the most recent copy with you.
Update the Documents if Her Wishes Change
Your family member’s wishes and needs can change over time. She may be diagnosed with a new health condition or she might change her mind about how she wants certain health issues treated. These documents are easy to update when she changes her mind and you need to do so as soon as possible after she does change her mind.
Planning Ahead Now Helps Later
Some caregivers worry that it’s too early to talk about these types of documents, especially if their aging family member isn’t facing a terminal condition just yet. The problem with that line of thinking is that your senior’s health situation can change dramatically very quickly. If you know now what she wants, you’ve got the framework you need to take the best care possible of her.
This Isn’t about Giving Up
You might also worry that this means that you or your senior are giving up when it comes to addressing all possible options for her care. That’s not what advance directives do. They give your senior the chance to express her wishes when she can’t do that for herself. That’s also what you do as her caregiver.
If you’re still having a difficult time with the idea of helping your senior put her advance directives together, perhaps tackle it from a different perspective. Think about what you would want in her situation and look at how you would make sure the people who care about you could know what you want.
If you or an aging parent are considering end-of-life care in Bethlehem, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.
A veteran of providing quality healthcare, Michael has served with distinction in a variety of leadership capacities for nearly two decades, notably as administrator for several Skilled Nursing Facilities in New Jersey. Known as an innovative and solution-oriented individual, Michael has his finger on the pulse on new trends and concepts in providing quality care.
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