Do I Need an Advance Directive?

May 2, 2014 / Geriatrics / Seniors

An advance directive, which includes living wills and medical powers of attorney (Health Care Proxy) , are legal documents that direct your wishes for care when you are unable to communicate those decisions to the health care team. This may occur, for example, in a auto accident if you are rendered unconscious. Health care experts agree it’s important to have a completed advance directive. Ideally you should think about your wishes and then complete an advance directive while you are healthy and can make a clear, informed decision on the type of care you desire. It is recommended that you discuss these choices with your physician yearly as your choices my change with time and aging. It’s also a good idea to complete and sign the documents in the state where you expect to receive care, as laws can vary from state to state. You can learn more about advance directives for those who live in Massachusetts here.

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