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Health Care Proxy-Should We Place a Lot of Importance on It?

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advanced directives

advanced-directivesWhat is a health care proxy or
durable power of attorney for health care?

A health care proxy… or durable power of attorney… is a person chosen by you to make your medical decisions in the event you are unable to do so.

Generally, you would ask a family member or trusted friend to represent your preferences… when you can no longer do so. It is important to ask this individual.. if they are willing to make medical decisions for you when you are no longer able.

Select an individual that will not abuse the power you are granting them. And knows you and your values. You need to feel comfortable that should your health care proxy.. be called upon, they would be willing to honor your wishes

Communicating your wishes through an advanced directive is vital.. to making your needs known. You should consider asking your health care proxy… if they will they be able to make decisions for you that you want.

Even if they this is not what they would choose for themselves. Will they be willing to ask the doctor for more information if they do not understand a treatment? Will they be able to make a medical decision.. and change it later, if the proposed treatment is not having the anticipated results?

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A health proxy may have to exercise judgment … in the event of a medical decision… for which the patient’s wishes are not known. You may even consider asking your health care proxy to accompany you on a few visits to the doctors.

So that they may come to understand your health care wishes and meet your providers. That is why it so important to communicate. Discuss advanced directives openly and honestly with your proxy. If you have not you need to read about Advanced Directives.

The durable power of attorney for health care.. is the legal document that names a patient’s health care proxy.

Once written, it should be:

Signed

Dated

Witnessed

Notarized

Copied

Distributed

And incorporated into the patient’s medical record.

You should keep the original in a safe place. Make many copies for you physicians. You will be required to provide one.. each time you are admitted to the hospital… or an alternative healthcare setting.

Remember… this proxy only takes effect.. should you be unable to communicate your wishes about treatment. If you become able to express your wishes at any time… and are mentally competent… the health care proxy will no longer be in effect.

For End of Life Planning information click here

Here is help on How To Talk to Your Health Care Provider about Advanced Directives

Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Are Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness

check_bookDurable power of attorney for finances

You will also want to consider appointing someone to.. manage your financial affairs.When you cannot.

This is called a durable power of attorney for finances. It is a separate legal document, from the durable power of attorney for health care.

You may choose the same person or someone different from their health care proxy… to act as their agent in financial matters. Again, it is important that you choose someone that… will not take advantage of the power you are granting them.

Writing your will

A will is important… so that you can give instructions about distribution of your.. money and property after your death.

You can name:

A trusted family member

Friend

Or professional.. to handle their personal affairs (also known as an Executor).

It is advisable to seek the expert advice of an attorney… in drawing up a will.. so that the decisions made about.. taxes, beneficiaries, and asset distribution will be legally binding.

This process can relieve a patient’s family and friends … of an enormous burden in case of disputes or questions about allocation of the patient’s assets.

Caregiver Relief will keep you abreast of legal issues… that are important to your health and well being.