It’s one of the most important conversations that no one wants to have – What will happen when I pass away? What kind of care do I want at the end of my life?
More and more people are realizing how important it is to make and document these decisions now, while they are in good health and of sound mind, It makes everything so much easier on them and their family members later on.
Providence Solutions has recently hosted a number of workshops titled “Making Your Most Important Decisions,” intended to demystify common topics related to Advance Directives and end-of-life planning. Some of the important topics covered in the presentation include:
“Writing your Last Will and Testament is not a one-and-done thing,” It is recommends that individuals review these legal documents with their attorney at least every five years and/or after a major life event, such as a birth or death in the family, divorce, or a significant change in your financial situation.
Powers of Attorney
Your attorney can also help you draft documents to assign your Powers of Attorney (POA), who are people who will make important decisions on your behalf in the event that you are physically or mentally unable to do so. The types and scope of POAs vary from state-to-state, but for residents in Illinois there are two important people to select: your Power of Attorney for Health Care, who you trust to make medical decisions for you, and a Power of Attorney for Property, who will have the legal right to manage your finances for you.
Once you have selected your Power of Attorney for Health Care, it is important that they know what kind of treatment you would want – or would not want – in an end-of-life situation. A Living Will allows you to voice your wishes regarding your medical care. To help you make these decisions, the website FiveWishes.org offers a workbook to help you think through different scenarios and options for care.
A POLST form, or Practitioner Order for Life Sustaining Treatment, is a medical order signed by a doctor that becomes part of your patient record and must be followed by your healthcare providers. Unlike a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form, which only gives instructions on whether or not you would want CPR performed in an emergency, a POLST also covers your wishes about life-sustaining medical interventions and feeding tubes. It also gives patients options for different levels of interventions – instead of an “all or nothing” approach.
Most importantly, Once you have all of your paperwork completed, to make sure that your family has copies or knows where to find them. The last thing you want in a crisis situation is for someone to be searching through shoeboxes of loose papers.
Providence Solutions is available to present to your church or organization on this topic and many others relating to navigating the world of aging! Contact us at (708) 342-8090 for more information.
Providence Solutions | www.providencelifesolutions.com
The Conversation Project | www.theconversationproject.org
Five Wishes | www.fivewishes.org