Jan 21, 2015

Planning for Important End of Life Health Care Decisions

Do you have the necessary legal documents and advance directives in place for end of life care and medical emergencies?

Planning for Important End of Life Health Care Decisions

Lately I have been receiving more and more questions about Advance directives and legal documents for end of life care.

Shortly after I came to Delray Beach to take care of Dotty I had all of the necessary documents executed, signed, and notarized.

This included legal documents like a durable power of attorney, designation of health care surrogate, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), and living will.

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By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room


You can take several approaches to these documents. For example, you can hire an attorney to do them for you. Or, you can do what I did, go out on the Internet find what you need, get them completed and executed.

Here is a list of the some of the documents you need, or might need.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances gives someone called a trustee the power to make legal and financial decisions for the person with Alzheimer's dementia.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care gives someone called a proxy the power to make health care decisions for the person with Alzheimer's dementia.
  • Living Will states the person’s wishes for health care at the end of life.
  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) this form tells health care staff how the person wants end-of-life health care managed.
  • Will tells how the person wants his or her property and money to be divided among those left behind.
  • Living Trust tells someone called a trustee how to distribute a person’s property and money
You can contact your State Attorney Generals' Office to obtain help and advice.

Thanks to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Caring Connections you can get all or most of the documents you need on one website.

Importantly, the documents are tailor made for each state.


Download Your State's Advance Directives

Alabama
Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

You should have all of these documents executed and available long before you need them.

Carole Larkin had a very good suggestion. Put a copy in the glove compartment of your car just in case you need them in an emergency situation.


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Alzheimer's Reading Room

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room