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Whether your parent is in good health or in the last stages of an illness, it’s essential to know his or her end-of-life wishes. Talking about them is important, but having them written down in legal documents, known as advance directives, can make a difficult time far more manageable. Here are the advance directives you need to know about:
Also known as “power of attorney,” a health care proxy is a person designated to make medical decisions when mom or dad isn’t able. Click here for more information on a health care proxy.
This form documents your parent’s wishes when it comes to specific medical treatments and interventions, as well as “heroic measures,” which include artificial resuscitation and mechanical ventilation. Click here for more information on advance directives for your state.
A DNR is the most specific advance directive and it’s an order that you obtain from a doctor. The DNR only applies to heroic measures that would be taken if a person is close to dying—in other words, CPR, defibrillation, use of a ventilator, and feeding tubes would not be employed under these circumstances. A DNR does not mean your loved one will not receive proper care if he or she simply goes to the hospital. You can only obtain a DNR from a physician.
The newest of advance directives, Five Wishes allows your mom or dad to provide answers to the following questions, with as many or as few specifics as they desire:
Click here for more information on Five Wishes.