Honoring life and death wishes is the foundation for allowing a loved one to live and die with grace and dignity. Advanced Directives are official written instructions that give your loved one the opportunity to express their wishes.
There are two important types of Advanced Directives:
- A living will – Your loved one provides written instructions about the type of care they would like to receive in the event they become unconscious or are unable to make decisions.
- A medical power of attorney – Your loved one provides written instructions assigning someone to be in charge of making important decisions on their behalf if they become incapable of making those decisions on their own. This is also known as assigning a healthcare agent.
It’s never too early – Even though it may be a difficult conversation, many people have said they felt empowered after expressing their final wishes.
POLST (Physician Orders for Live Sustaining Treatment) is an approach to end-of-life planning which is implemented differently from state to state. Information and forms relevant to your state may be acquired from polst.org