Advance planning can ease end-of-life decisions
People who plan for care at the end of life are more likely to get the medical treatment they want, and their family members experience less stress, anxiety, and depression, according to research. Therefore, if your loved ones do not know what your wishes are should you become incapacitated, Independent Health encourages you to have the conversation with them.
In addition, it’s important to complete a healthy care proxy so that you can appoint someone to be your health care agent and speak on your behalf if you are unable to due to illness or injury. You can also use your health care proxy to cite what types of treatments you would or would not want. For example, you could say, “If I am in a coma with no hope of recovery, I do not want to receive artificial nutrition provided by feeding tubes.”
Choosing the right health care agent
When designating your health care agent, select someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend. Talk with them to make sure they are willing to take on this responsibility. If they agree to act as your agent, share with them your thoughts, beliefs and preferences about how you would want to be treated for the remainder of your life.
If you don’t have a health care agent, family members may disagree about the types of medical care you would want and should receive. Completing a health care proxy form can prevent confusion and help your family and friends make health care decisions for you during an already stressful time.
Complete your health care proxy today!
A health care proxy isn’t just for older people or those facing serious illnesses and surgeries. Everyone over the age of 18 should appoint a health care agent. Health care proxy forms are available at most doctors’ offices and hospitals. In addition, you can download one by visiting decidewny.org.