An advance directive provides reassurance that you will receive the kind of health care treatment you want even if you become incapacitated. Having a plan in place can also provide your loved ones with direction to know how to respond to your medical needs during a time of crisis.
This formal legal document can contain a variety of instructions about your wishes. Identifying which components to include is a personal decision. Assessing your lifestyle, health care needs and personal preferences can help you articulate the kind of care you want to receive.
Treatments and life-saving measures
Your opinion of what a quality life is, may differ from others. A severe injury or illness resulting in diminished mental awareness and physical capacity, may not be an outcome you wish to deal with. Or, you may feel that with the appropriate resources and medical treatments, a drastically life-changing outcome still has promise for your life.
One of the best ways to decide which life-saving measures you want is to be familiar with the treatments there are. According to Cigna, some of the treatments you may research include the following:
- Breathing machine
- Feeding tube
Choosing someone you trust
Another important aspect of planning your advance directive is your selection of someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. This person could be a family member or trusted friend. When choosing someone to fulfill this role, consider his or her ability to handle the responsibility. Encourage your family and friends to trust and support this person.
Go through your advance directive together and take the time to answer any questions. This is a great way to encourage confidence in this person and give yourself reassurance in his or her ability to do what you ask.