Communication is the most essential part of advance care planning. It’s important that it be an ongoing process that includes everyone who will be affected by these decisions. Planning should adapt to changing circumstances, and should reflect your aging parent’s wishes, values and beliefs.
The idea that a loved one may someday become incapacitated or be faced with end-of-life decisions is a difficult and emotional subject, but talking about your parents’ wishes ahead of time can provide peace of mind at a later and more difficult moment, and can avoid conflict within the family.
What should you discuss with your aging parents? Their values and spiritual beliefs are very important to consider when developing an advance care plan. You should know their concerns and preferences about what medical decisions should be made if they became incapacitated.
It’s also important to decide who should be appointed as their health care proxy decision maker. This person needs to be someone who they trust to make decisions on their behalf that reflect their wishes and beliefs about care, even if that means denying life-sustaining treatment. This very sensitive topic is important to approach in advance, as an advance decision could save a family from agony later on.
Some of the documents you will need to put your plan into effect may include a Living Will or Advance Medical Directive, and a Power of Attorney. We can help put your plan into place. Please contact us to discuss your options and begin your advance care planning, or drop by our office in downtown Covington, Virginia.