Have you ever heard someone say “… if I die?” Although optimistic the truth is we “will die.” Advancing age and the loss of loved ones prompts most Seniors to worry about end-of-life care if incapacitated or unable to make health decisions. It may be a relief to know there is a way to assure end of life decisions are honored. Have you ever heard of a “Living Will?”

A written, legally binding document outlining personal medical care choices to physicians, family, and elder caregivers is known as a Living Will. It is advised every Senior has one. Lawyers may be used to help understand and compose a Living Will but creating one personally is simple. A Living Will allows the user to provide direction for:

  • Life-prolonging procedures administered or continued if there is little hope for survival
  • Approval of care (dialysis, mechanical ventilation to assist with breathing, tubal nutrition, or CPR)
  • Organ and tissue donations Hospice or donating a body to science or education
  • Palliative care or Hospice
  • Spiritual and religious matters

Many templates are available online, at libraries, bookstores, or local government Aging Services Centers. “Five Wishes” is often used. Do not be confused… a Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney are two different documents. A Living Will dictates decisions made ahead of time for end-of-life health care while a Power of Attorney appoints who will make financial or health care decisions for one who is not capable of doing so. AARP surveys report only 40% of Seniors have completed a Living Will, meaning 60% are gambling end-of-life choices will be met.

No one knows what life holds. A family enjoying each other and appreciating their elders one day may suddenly be arguing or in court deliberating the care of a parent the next. Families need to be aware of Living Will contents. Personal physicians should understand the choices made by you. You need to be loved and feel cared for at the end of your life not the object of familial bickering.  Please, take the time to complete the important Living Will.

Bridge to Better Living assists Seniors and their loved ones find the appropriate Retirement Options. Your wishes help build a relationship with our expert Transition Consultants. Bridge to Better Living is an important part of making life decisions. Contact them today.