I was listening to talk radio on my drive home and heard a story that inspired me to write about one of the most important decisions that everyone can make for themselves and their families.
But I’m not dying! Many people think it is too early to do this until it is too late. In the story tonight, they stated that only 30% of Americans have advanced directives. Not having a living will or a health care power of attorney, will put your family in the position of making difficult decisions in a difficult time with no real guidance from you. They may also be decisions that you would disagree with if you were able.
Do you already have these? Do you think you it is necessary?
You must, also, talk to loved ones about your wishes and philosophies. Do you want to be an organ donor? When are you okay with a ventilator? How about a feeding tube? What type of life are you willing to fight for and when do you want then to let you go?
I have decided to have a living will and a health care power of attorney completed. There are copies of it with my family and my primary care doctor. I even carry a miniaturized version of them in my wallet.
How to: Do a search online, there are many sites willing to help and advertise between free and small fee. You may need to take the forms to a notary. Your workplace may have someone on site who is a notary. If you have insurance, check out their website. Some offer help with advanced directive forms. Of course, you can always go to a lawyer .
I filled mine out with with little more thought than just another form. Kind of like filling out the beneficiaries for my life insurance. It was my way of trying to project some control over a future situation. This link will take you to a couples’ more thoughtful approach.