Making healthcare decisions for someone is a big responsibility. We want to honor the wishes of the person we’re caring for but that isn’t always easy. There are some things you can do to make it easier. Use the checklist below to help you prepare.
Advanced planning check list
Start the conversation early
The sooner you begin the conversation about what your loved one wants, the better chance you’ll have of being prepared to make decisions. These conversations aren’t always easy. Often times, people need to make several attempts before the full story is revealed.
Memory fades. Create documents to ensure you know what you and you loved agreed to.
Review documents regularly
Ideas and opinions may change over time. It’s helpful to review the documents periodically to make sure you and your loved one are on the same page.
Put documents in one place
Put Advanced planning documents in one place with the other important papers you need such as healthcare insurance cards, birth certificates, life insurance information.
Make copies of the healthcare wishes your loved one has expressed and bring them with you when the time comes to make decisions to show healthcare providers.
Give permission to health care providers to talk with family in advance
Create a signed document with your family member that gives the healthcare providers permission to talk with you about his/her medical issues. Having this in writing will save you a lot of time and frustration when the time comes that you need to have end of life conversations. Consider having it notarized.
Plan details of funeral in advance
It is much easier to arrange a funeral when you know what the person wanted and you can honor their last request. Have that discussion. Include information about religious services, caskets, wakes, cremation, attire. All the details you’ll have to make decisions about. It is so much easier to make arrangements when following the wishes of your loved one.