The idea of turning power over your life to someone else can be intimidating, but as we age, putting an advanced medical directive in place becomes a necessity. While not everyone ends up using theirs, it’s important to understand the definition of a living will and why it is a necessity when the risk of serious medical issues increases. While the number of people who already have a living will has increased in recent years, the number is still far too low.
One of the reasons many people don’t put a living will or advanced medical directive in place is because they don’t really understand what they are or how they are used. It’s important to fully understand the definition of a living will, along with medical directives and other similar documents, to ensure you have the right plans in place if you become incapable of making your own medical decisions. In general, a living will dictates your healthcare decisions and your end-of-life desires. An advanced medical directive combines the living will with a power of attorney for healthcare, giving someone else the legal right to make medical care decisions for you. In Oklahoma, a living will equals an advanced directive for health care.
When you have an advanced medical directive, or living will, in place, it will let the doctors and nurses know your wishes for a number of healthcare decisions, as well as what you would like to happen if the end of your life is imminent. Some of these issues may include:
When a loved one falls severely ill, it can place stress on the family to handle it. Many people have difficulty letting a family member go, even if they are suffering as a result. When you have a living will or advanced medical directive in place before you are in this situation, your family won’t have the added pressure of making these difficult decisions. You will have legal documentation that details what your wishes are so there’s no question what actions your medical professionals should or should not take.
No one likes to think about the time in their life when they are no longer able to make decisions regarding their own medical care, but it’s important to be prepared. Creating a legal advanced medical directive can provide peace of mind that your life will not be prolonged longer than you feel is necessary and assures your family that the right decisions are made when you can’t speak for yourself.
If you’re looking for an assisted living center for an aging loved one, contact us. Our Oklahoma City facility helps seniors make the right decisions for their senior years.