Do you or your parents have an advance directive? If you answered no, or I don’t know what this is, don’t worry, only one-third of the population is estimated to have this. However, in these uncertain times, you would want to be sure that you and your parents are ready for what’s to come.
What is an advance directive? This is a document that you provide your health care wishes for when you are too sick or unconscious to do so. Under the umbrella of an advance directive would include the following:
While the thought may be that you would only need this when you get older or are starting to get sick, this could not be further from the truth. You should create one as soon as possible, while you are younger, healthy and can discuss this with family. Of note, this can and should be reviewed and updated with big life changes like each decade as you grow older (your views may change), marriage (you may remarry, divorce), major illness, etc.
Some thoughts against getting an advance directive if say your wish is to have a DNR, you will not get any care. That is not the case. You will still receive care, but this way, your family, close friends or doctors will not have to make serious decisions on your behalf. If you make these decisions in advance, they may be carried out on your terms and put the pressure off of your loved ones. Another worry is that once you create one that it is set in stone and cannot be changed. This is also not true. You can and should change it. Some are even thinking to create one now with a special “Covid clause” and remove it once a vaccine is available.
If you’d like to get started, you can click here and find your state to start the process on the advance directive specific for your area. Please note that you will have to get it notarized for it to be legal. Notaries can often be found at the bank or at AAA locations. Once you have this completed, make sure your medical service providers have this along with your health care proxy.