This week at the Aging Well Conference in Arlington, I was invited to speak on the critical topic, The Decisions A Health Care Proxy May Make On Your Behalf. I've written several times about legal documents and selecting an executor and agent. While researching for the presentation, I came across valuable information on the American Bar Association website and want to share with readers.
The decisions a healthcare proxy will make on your behalf
Have frequent discussions about your wishes
Good advance planning for health care decisions is, in reality, a continuing conversation--about values, priorities, the meaning of one's life, and quality of life. When making a health care advance directive like a durable power of attorney for health care, be aware that just having a written advance directive by itself does not ensure that your wishes will be understood and respected.
There are several key points in choosing an ideal healthcare proxy and it begins with talking about your wishes and finding out if the person will follow them. These questions will help you assess and choose the best healthcare proxy.
This guide will help you do a better job of discovering, clarifying, and communicating what is important to you in the face of serious illness. Remember once you know exactly how you want to be treated if you should become incapacitated, write it down and let you healthcare proxy, family and friends know.
Carol Marak, aging advocate, Seniorcare.com. She's earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.
The article first published at Aging Matters.