When someone close to us is near the end of their life and unresponsive, it can cause a lot of confusion and upset for the relatives left behind who are attempting to make any needed decisions. A living will is a legal detailed document directing your caregivers in the end-of-life treatments you prefer. Regardless of whether you are young, middle aged, elderly, living at home or residing in an assisted living center, everyone should have a living will. Here are a few reasons why.
We never know when our time will come. We’ve all experienced loss and realize it can come at any age. One of the best ways we can prepare is completing a living will.
There are many choices to be made so it’s important you understand all your options. Some of these decisions will include your choices about resuscitation, ventilation, tube feeding, pain management and donating organs and tissues. Sometimes in living senior life, we may feel choices are taken away from us, but by creating a living will and facing all these health decisions in advance, you’ll feel more in control of your end-of-life health care.
Having a living will on file will provide clear instructions for your doctor, health professionals or other caregivers to follow for what types of life-saving treatment you will permit. It will also give the directions for when to stop giving treatment, if such a time ever occurs. Check with your doctor, health care advocate or senior care services to help you with any questions you have when drawing up your living will.
When family members have to agree on these difficult decisions for you, tempers can flare. By having your wishes made known in a binding document, you will be helping to diffuse any arguments.
When you make a living will, you will also get some peace of mind, knowing all the decisions you have made about your end-state health care will be honored and not cause a hardship on your loved ones. Your family or health care agent will also gain peace of mind because they will have a clear idea of exactly what your wishes and decisions are regarding your care. As a result, they won’t be burdened with the guilt that can come with wondering if they made the right decision. Leaving the decisions to them alone can cause unnecessary worry and the responsibility can weigh heavily on an already grieving family.
Once you’ve decided on all your preferences, you should talk these over with your family, doctor, senior care services professionals and caregivers and ensure they have a copy of your living will as well.
If you are looking for an assisted living center for you or your loved one, contact us at the Village at Oakwood in Oklahoma City. We are dedicated to preserving our residents’ dignity and respect and providing everything they need for their care and comfort.