No matter what your age is, you may need medical care during your lifetime. You might require it in the future if something happens to you at a young age like when they were 20 years old or even after living for 90 years of life.
No matter your current health or awareness of needs, we never know when we might need care. That's why it is important to make advance plans for yourself and those you love at any age.
Care planning is a flexible topic, but it's important to have an advance directive. We'll discuss the details below.
The reason for having an advance directive at a younger age is because no one knows how long they will live. They may need someone trusted to make important decisions for them while they are unable, due to health reasons.
What Does Advance Care Planning Mean?
Advance care planning is putting a plan in place to ensure your values and goals of care are communicated. This means researching what you want by recording preferences about the types of medical treatment that will be done if it does not go well for you or you can't communicate on your own anymore.
Why You Need an Advance Care Plan
Discuss your wishes to make sure you get the medical treatment that's right for you. This is especially important if someone else has to make decisions on your behalf or give you care, like when there are no clear "next of kin" available in an emergency situation.
You may think that it's difficult to plan ahead. However, we see advance care planning as a positive way of reinforcing your values and what makes life meaningful for you. So if you want something in the future, start thinking about now because not doing so could have negative consequences on yourself or those around you!
Advance care planning can be thought of as an insurance policy just like your home or car. You have one, but hope to never need it. However, having this plan in place will alleviate stress if disaster strikes since you are prepared for anything that comes your way!
Advance care planning is like having an insurance policy for your future needs.
How to Create an Advance Care Plan
These are several basic advance care planning components, but as things change over time you may think of more. You can add what’s important to you or your family member and don't hesitate to rewrite this plan as time goes on.
In many states, healthcare directives may need signatures from a medical provider and/or witnesses or notaries.
By looking over examples where there are no mandatory requirements at all (such as Texas) versus cases where one must have two adult witnesses sign off on their own declaration (like New York), you will be able to identify which rules apply in your area. This information is crucial because without legal authority you could miss out access opportunities with your family member's providers and receive updates about his or her health status during recovery - if any!
By naming your agent, you are able to allow someone else make decisions on your behalf. Decide with care because this person will be responsible for carrying out wishes that align with yours. Cake's advance directive forms can help guide the decision-making process by state/region or location in which they reside.
A living will can make it easier for your family to know what you want. You should consider the following information when writing out a living will: 1) Specifying resuscitation, feeding tubes, and intubation; 2) Speaking more generally about the quality of life you would like to have if at all possible.
If you can't complete a living will or advance directive because you're unable to notarize, print, or find witnesses , there are other options. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic Cake worked with Providence Health and Ariadne Labs to develop two alternatives that can be completed quickly online: the Trusted Decision Maker Form and a COVID specific advance care planning form.
I'm not a fan of the legal will and advance directive. I think that they put way too much emphasis on medical treatment and ignore every other aspect in life, like your loved ones for example. If you're sick or injured then how do we know what makes you happy? What about family traditions, things unique to us as individuals? We can start this with two simple forms: my personal health care preferences form (PHC-1) and my HIPAA release document (HARED). PHC-1 lets me answer all these questions without making anyone else guess whether hospital staff should give up their lives for mine when it's over three days into an unknown illness.
Once you complete your advance directive, legal will and/or COVID specific advance care planning form, create a Cake profile. Upload the document(s) to this account before sharing with someone who can access it just in case they need them.
The advanced directive is not enough on its own to get confidential information in some states; therefore, we encourage our users to fill out a release of information form too.
Review your advance directives yearly or whenever there is a change in health status. If you were healthy when you filled out end-of-life wishes, but then your health status worsens, it's likely that this will have changed how willing to be of certain medical interventions.
Things to Consider as you Create an Advance Directive Plan
As you or a loved one work on an advance care plan, it can be overwhelming to think about what decisions should and shouldn’t be made. Here are some key aspects to consider:
1) Communicate your wishes clearly
2) Give others the tools they need for decision-making (brochures like end of life planning help with this too!)
3) Get involved in advocacy efforts that support better access and quality health care services at all stages of life.
Medical and Healthcare Information
Before a crisis hits, it's important to have an emergency plan in place for your loved ones. If you're planning ahead and thinking about the future when there isn't any trouble going on right now, then having this information will make things much easier if something happens suddenly or unexpectedly. This is particularly useful if someone becomes ill or has a medical emergency - everything from food allergies to prescriptions can be hard enough without adding stressors like transportation problems into the mix!
Before a crisis hits, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place for your loved ones. If you are planning ahead and thinking about what might happen during difficult times instead of not focusing on anything at that moment while nothing seems wrong yet , then having this information will be of great benefit.
To stay organized, consider this same process for yourself and keep the information organized. Include the following components:
In order to advocate for yourself or a loved one, it is important that you keep detailed accounts of medical conditions. If unsure about diagnoses, take some time to research them so that your interests are fully protected.
If you are taking medications regularly, it's important to know what they're treating. This can be complicated since different conditions have similar symptoms and may require the same medication even though their causes are very different. It takes some time to understand how your specific condition works with each drug but knowing will help prevent side effects or possible interactions between drugs that could harm you more than benefit you!
Making the choice of what health care plan to go with can be overwhelming. However, it is important that you know exactly how each one works and what they cover before making a decision. One option is traditional Medicare which pays for half your hospitalization costs after an annual deductible has been met (USDHHS). Another option available through private insurance companies are called “Medicare Advantage Plans” where there may not need to be any out-of-pocket expenses at all depending on the policy chosen (Kaiser Family Foundation). The first step in this process would be copying down every single bit of information about or pertaining to both plans including provider lists or phone numbers so that these items will always stay accessible when needed during treatment time.
The healthcare system can be complex and overwhelming for both patients and their loved ones. The first step is to identify the various specialists involved in your care or that of a loved one, such as cardiologists, urologists, pulmonologists etc., along with contact information like phone numbers and addresses.
If you have a preference for your hospital, make this known. If first responders take you to the closest emergency room and not your preferred one it can interfere with good care as communication between dissimilar healthcare systems is fragmented.
Additional Components of a Comprehensive Advance Care Plan
It's important to make plans for other aspects of your life when creating an advance care plan. Imagine the future and create a document that addresses issues like what will happen with financial assets or how you'll be cared for in old age if needed, rather than just focusing on medical decisions only.
A will is a legal paper that lists what you would like to happen with your assets and items after death. It's usually used for distributing things such as money, homes, belongings etc.
The best way to make sure that your will is legal in the state you live, some people prefer using an attorney's help.
Financial Power of Attorney
Sometimes, people get so focused on the healthcare aspect of advance planning that they neglect to consider their finances.
Also know that you can make your financial power of attorney different from your healthcare one.
Long-term care planning and finances
Long-term care planning isn't something anyone wants to think about, but it's important. As you plan for the future, understanding what long term care costs will help you budget accordingly.
In-home care offers a solution to the difficulties of caring for older family members. For example, if your parent breaks their arm and they are left unable to bathe themselves or dress on their own - in home care can help ease these challenges until your loved one is ready. If you have no insurance that covers long term nursing assistance expect this kind of support will cost money too! You might think about hiring someone part time or full time depending on what services are needed most at any given moment
and how much it costs since not all agencies provide quotes online (or by phone). A lot more people over age 65 could use some type of in-home service either temporarily while recovering from an injury like broken bones or longer term when physical limitations.
Home health care can be an excellent option for patients who are recovering from a hospitalization or injury, but there are conditions that must first be met in order to qualify under Medicare. Home health care includes nursing, physical and occupational therapy as well as speech and respiratory therapies if needed. However, the time-limited nature of home healthcare means you may have to seek out alternative options after your loved one has completed his/her services with regard to continued nursing needs.
Assisted Living: The average cost of assisted living communities is $4000 a month, however the price can go up exponentially if you need more care. Assisted living facilities typically have different levels of care that are priced differently depending on your needs. Long-term insurance policies often cover most or all costs associated with assisted living homes - it's important to look into these details before making any decisions!
Memory care communities are dedicated to providing specialized care for people with cognitive problems like dementia. The cost is high, but the benefits outweigh the price tag!
Rehabilitation is a process that helps people recover from illness or injury. The length of time depends on insurance coverage and the patient's progress. Once discharged, patients can continue recovery at home with help from Home Health Care providers.
Nursing Homes: There are many different types of nursing homes. One type is a private room in a nursing home, which can exceed $8000 per month if you do not have insurance or qualify for Medicaid.
You should find three communities and companies that you want to be involved with. It is recommended that these are the ones closest to your heart or interest, but there could also always a case for professional connections.
Meeting with an estate planning attorney to go over options and costs of future care can give us a clear picture on how we need to make the necessary adjustments. The worst-case scenario may be financially draining, but it will allow us prepare for any possible situation that might arise in our elderly parents' well-being.
Steve Schafer is the founder of TheEulogyWriters and is probably the most prolific eulogy writer (and, no doubt, the best) anywhere. He lives in Michigan and has been writing eulogies for well over thirty years. The articles in this blog are designed to help people through the process of losing loved ones.