Advance Directives

Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. April 17th is National Advance Directives day. This newsletter is dedicated to providing Advanced Directive information. I believe everyone has the right to make decisions about the health care they get now and in the future.

Advanced Directives can be confusing. It is simply a legal document that allows you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time.

There are 3 types of advance directives;

Health Care Power of Attorney – Legal document allowing you to appoint someone as your agent to make healthcare decisions for you. There is also a Financial Power of Attorney. It does not apply to healthcare!

The Living Will Declaration- Allows a person to leave written instructions that when near death, your moment of death should not be artificially postponed by the use of death delaying procedures.

Do Not Resuscitate Advance Directive- A Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order is a medical treatment order that says cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will not be attempted if your heart and/or breathing stops.

Health-care professionals ordinarily will begin CPR when your heart and/or breathing stops. You may make a choice, however, not to receive CPR under these circumstances. A DNR order states you prefer to be cared for without CPR in the event your heart and/or breathing stops.

Everyone should think about what they would want if this should happen to them. Would you want CPR? Would you want to be kept alive by a ventilator (a machine which breathes for you) or to be fed the rest of your life through a tube in your stomach?

Make sure your family knows your wishes! Go to your state’s public health website, find the forms and fill them out! I recommend giving a copy to your doctor’s office and a family member but keep the original with you.

People have the right to die in the way they choose. Some people want to fight for every breath and others want to go naturally and peacefully. If you don’t make your wishes known, usually family members insist on “doing everything possible”.

You are never too young to make your wishes known! If you have a family member with Alzheimer’s Disease you need to address their Advance Directives early on while they are still able to make their wishes known.

If you have any questions please email me at larea@alzheimers-in-your-home .com

Please check in on my website from time to time for new information and feel free to email me with suggestions for the website or questions.

Thank You,

Joanne Larea Hathaway RN, BSN