February is American Heart Month! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Diet, exercise, meditation and heart health awareness is crucial — and in our busy lives we all need a reminder to take time for self-care.
Your health is holistic – body and mind. What if you were no longer able to make medical decisions for yourself, who would you trust with your health and care? Healthcare documents such as a Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney are vital in making your wishes known and appointing someone you trust to act on your behalf. Memorializing your medical preferences and intentions NOW allows your loved ones to make important decisions for you if you are unable to do so for yourself.
A Living Will allows you to document your wishes concerning medical treatment in “end of life” circumstances. The Living Will becomes effective if your physician determines that you are in “a terminal condition” or “permanently unconscious state” and have lost the capacity to make informed health care decisions for yourself. This document allows you to direct your preferences for medical treatment or non-treatment, such as life-sustaining treatment, artificial nutrition or hydration, Do Not Resuscitate Order, or pain relief.
A Healthcare Power of Attorney is different from a Living Will in that it can go into effect at any time that you are unable to make informed healthcare decisions for yourself. This document allows you to appoint a person you trust as you healthcare agent to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can no longer speak for yourself.
The Healthcare Power of Attorney becomes effective when your physician determines that you have lost the capacity to make informed health care decisions for yourself. This document can cover all types of health care decisions, including nursing home or facility-based care treatment or psychiatric treatment.
Appointing people you trust to care for you if you are no longer able to speak for yourself provides peace of mind and valuable information to the people who love you.
Contact us for more information on Living Wills and Healthcare Powers of Attorney.