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Having a Living Will Ready: In Case of Emergency

Posted on in Uncategorized, Aging

What's your plan if you're hospitalized? What's your plan if you're hospitalized?

Between life and death, you don’t want to think about the “what if’s” when it comes to unexpected situations with someone you love and care for being hospitalized. Broadway Medical wants you to be prepared in case of being hospitalized by making decisions about your health with an advance directive.  Whether there is a treatment for your diagnosis or not, it can also help with end-of-life requests.

An advance directive can be considered as a living will, having a medical power of attorney (POA) or a do not resuscitate order (DNR):

  • Living wills are a legal, written document that describes the forms of medical treatment you wish to receive or not receive.
  • Medical POA’s assign an individual, such as an immediate family member or next of kin, to make your medical decisions in the event you can no longer do so.  This is different than regular POA that can make financial decisions for you. Your living will guides your POA, but also has the authority to interpret your wishes in situations not described in your will.
  • DNR orders restrict whether or not you choose to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or “extraordinary measures” in case your heart stops or you stop breathing.

An advance directive can’t cover every situation but you may want to designate someone to be your medical power of attorney. Having one of these three things helps your family and medical staff understand what you want in case you are no longer to make decisions for yourself.

Every state is different based on the guidelines with your advance directive.  You may want to meet with your attorney to go over the rules and regulations.  After your will is complete, consider giving one to your doctor, medical POA, attorney and someone else in your family.  You may want to have a small card in your wallet or purse to let someone know where they could find your will.

Broadway Medical wants you to remember to review and revise your directives from time to time based on new or changing health conditions.

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