An advance directive is a legal document that outlines in detail the care that healthcare providers should give to you should you be in unable to speak for yourself. Every state recognizes advance directives, though individual states have different guidelines to use of these documents. Click here for state specific guidelines.
Here’s how to ascertain you are treated as you would wish when you are incapacitated.
- Establish the end-of-life care alternatives at your disposal.
- Narrow down onto the specific care you would want for yourself.
- Share your end-of-life decisions with your loved ones and doctor.
- Lay it down in writing for the sake of clarity.
Though these issues are difficult to talk about, everyone has a strong stand on how they would want to be treated. That is why early advance care arrangement works to your benefit as well as to the benefit of your loved ones and friends.
A Living Will
A living will is a type of advance directive that gives the basics of an AD. It outlines the kind of medical treatment you should get and what should not be done should you be unable to communicate your wishes in that time. The downside to this document is that it is not as express in detail as an AD. To learn more on a living will go to: What is a Living Will? To learn more about living wills, review:
The Healthcare Power of Attorney
The durable power of attorney is another document similar to an advance directive. It gives express power to a surrogate spokesperson who will speak to convey your wishes in light of the healthcare you desire should you be unable to speak for yourself. This is at a point when you are incapacitated, injured or taken ill. To learn more about healthcare power of attorney, review:
Condition Specific Advance Directives
An advance directive will be tailored to fit the specific condition of a patient, placing weight on certain provisions in it. Keep reading to learn some specific provisions for advance directives for patients afflicted with specific illnesses.
Advance Directives for Alzheimer’s Patients
Also known as AD’s, advanced directives bear great significance to Alzheimer’s patients. This is because all forms of dementia are known to be progressive. This means that persons suffering from dementia will degenerate over time to a point of being unable to communicate their preferred healthcare choices. They will then become dependent on healthcare providers, family, and doctors to make these choices for them. For greater detail on this go to:
Advance Directives Tailored for COPD Patients
Treatment options for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease change as the disease progresses from discovery through intermittent recovery to the point it becomes terminal. You should discuss with your physician about different antibiotics for flare-ups or infections, and talk about productive or ineffective treatment options applicable as the condition advances. Discuss mechanical ventilation and the issues that may arise near the end of life. Also be sure to talk about hospice care as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease grows strong and fades in its different stages. For greater detail on this subject visit:
Advance Directives for Cancer Patients
The central principle to an advance directive is the patient’s healthcare targets. These targets change with progression of cancer. If the disease becomes chronic or terminal, the goals of care change too. With advancement of the disease, treatments like chemo, radiation and transfusions may be reconsidered, while a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order or a feeding tube may be thought of for the first time. Handling pain is also an important part of caring for a patient in advanced cancer. For more information on advance directives for cancer patients visit:
Advance Directives for Patients Suffering from Heart Failure
The fundamental guideline to an advanced directive is the patient’s health needs. These healthcare needs morph as heart failure is discovered, goes through stages of intensity and improvement, and finally becomes terminal. To get in-depth understanding on advance directives for patients suffering from heart failure read: