Understanding the Two Most Common Kinds of Advance Directives

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If you provide home care for an elderly parent, there may come a time when he or she is unable to express his or her wishes verbally or no longer has the mental capacity to make important medical decisions. Before this happens, it is important to understand the options that are available for long-term and end-of-life care and to decide who will be in charge of making decisions.

Instruction Directive, or Living Will

A living will is an advance directive that outlines what type of care a person would like in the event he or she cannot make these decisions. This includes whether or not he or she would like life support, how long it is to continue, and whether or not to resuscitate should he or she stop breathing under certain circumstances.

With a living will, families and doctors know whether a senior wants extra measures taken to ensure the continuation of life or simply prefers pain medication to ease pain at the end of life. This type of directive may also include whether or not he or she wishes to donate organs and whether to perform an autopsy after death.

Proxy Directive, or Durable Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a document granting a friend, family member, in-home caregiver, or other trusted person the right to act in place of a senior who is incapacitated for any reason. This means that in medical and financial matters, the person granted power of attorney has the right to sign off on documents on the senior’s behalf. To grant such power, your senior loved one should be confident that this person has both his or her wishes in mind as well as his or her best interests at heart.

Advance directives may be hard to talk about for some families, but they are absolutely essential to ensuring that seniors receive the type of care they desire should they be unable to make specific requests.

When having these difficult conversations with elderly loved ones, it’s also a good time to talk about long-term home care should the need ever rise. Reach out to Home Care Assistance Vancouver to learn more about live-in, hourly, and respite care in Vancouver. We are available 24/7, care plans can be changed at any time without penalty, and we are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more, give us a call at (778) 279-3634.


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