Living wills. Advance directives. Powers of attorney for healthcare. Making your wishes known.
Many older adults have never gotten around to addressing these issues.
Others are overdue for a review. After all, this is not something where you should “set-it-and-forget-it.” Especially not if you completed the paperwork with a lawyer years ago, and have experienced changes in your health since then.
In both situations, the older person and his/her family had to weigh their options. We also helped them consider the benefits versus the burdens of the choices available.
It is these kinds of situations that advance care planning is supposed to help us — patient, family, healthcare providers — prepare for.
But I know that many older people haven’t gotten around to completing — or revising — their advance care planning. Which is a shame, since this will make it harder for their family and doctors to provide the right help if a medical emergency arises.
So in this article, I’ll try to make this process easier for you and your family. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is advance care planning,
- The four key steps that should always be part of advance care planning,
- Five tips to help you — or your older parent — address advance care planning.
I’ll also tell you about some of my favorite resources available to help seniors with all of this. These can really make it easier for older adults to sort out what they want, and have the necessary conversations with others. [Read more…]