Does My Elderly Parent Need an Advanced Directive?

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Advanced Directives: Does My Parent Need One?

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At Vancouver Home Care Assistance, we know the most important and personal questions are usually the hardest to ask, especially when it comes to senior health and care needs. An advanced directive generally falls into this category. Like a living will, an advanced directive is a legal document that spells out a person’s wishes concerning what should be done about his or her end-of-life care if that situation rises. It is especially helpful under certain conditions, such as when a person becomes mentally ill, falls into a coma, or has worsening dementia.

An advance directive is also known as a health care power of attorney. It allows a person to decide what should or should not be done concerning possible procedures such as resuscitation, tube feeding, breathing machines, or organ donation. It also names someone, usually known as a health care proxy, who will carry out the decisions named in the directive if the person who wrote them is unable to do so.

Concern over health problems is important at any age because a possible health crisis or accident can happen at any time. However, an advanced directive often concerns the older population, and for many of us, that means our aging parents. That takes us back to the subject of whether or not you feel your parent or parents have health issues that could be better handled by the instructions and preferences contained in an advanced directive. If such a possibility even crosses your mind (and even if takes courage to bring up the subject), consider doing so. Your parents might even be anxious to tell you what they think about their wishes in later years.

Talking about an advanced directive means that you care enough to listen to a loved one’s most personal wishes. If you do it now, you will not be regretting it later.

If you have an aging parent or loved one who is living with a chronic condition or a terminal illness, make sure that they have the support and care they need to remain comfortable at home. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of hourly and 24/7 live-in care in Vancouver, and we provide comprehensive in-home support for seniors of all ages and abilities. For more information, please reach out to us today at 778-279-3634 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.