As a provider of at-home hospice care, Provista Healthcare understands firsthand the importance of helping your loved one plan for end of life care. We understand the thought of planning your loved one’s end of life and discussing an advanced directive is a difficult topic, however upfront discomfort can save you and your family more stress and pain later on.
How to Start Planning for End of Life Care
The first thing you have to do is sit down with your loved one and talk about end of life care. This important conversation will make clear your loved one’s end-of-life care desires. After the conversation, it’s important your loved one’s wishes are put into writing. Share the wishes with the rest of your family and affected friends. Doing this will inform all of the patient’s closest family and friends of their wishes should they fall ill or become incapacitated.
Create and Submit an Advanced Directive
An advanced directive is a legal document that dictates for healthcare providers and family members your loved one’s wishes on the types of care and interventions to be used if your loved one is seriously ill or unable to speak for themselves.
One type of advanced directive documentation is a living will. A legal document, your loved one’s living will dictates medical preferences, such as interventions used to keep your loved one alive alive, pain management therapies, and your loved one’s post-mortem desires such as organ donation.
The information provided in this article is for education and illustrative use only. Readers should in no part consider information in this article as legal counsel. Readers should seek counsel of an attorney licensed to practice in their state.
Other types of directives include a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order and Medical Power of Attorney (POA). It is extremely important that any legally-binding directive created for your loved one is explicit and ironclad to prevent legal problems. Provista Healthcare advises you and your loved one review and prepare any advanced directive legal documents with the help of a licensed attorney.
Common Advanced Directive Care Provisions
- Comfort care
- Mechanical ventilator
- Body donation for research
- Organ donation
- Tissue donation
- Tube feeding
Implementing an Advanced Directive
An advanced directive does more than define your loved one’s end-of-life wishes. Implementing an advanced directive for your loved one helps avert crises and ease the decision-making burden for you, your family, any designated caregivers, and your loved one’s healthcare team. There is small sense of relief and understanding when you know the end-of-life care wishes of your loved one.
You can submit your loved one’s advanced care directive to their physician, who will add it to their medical record. Afterwards, make sure to confirm with the doctor that the correct advanced directive is present in the medical record.
When to Update Your Advanced Directive
An advanced directive can be created by an adult of any age and is helpful to everyone in the case of an emergency. You should update an advanced directive whenever the affected patient receives a new diagnosis or has a change of marital status.
Regardless of status, an advanced directive should be reviewed every 10 years and more regularly by high-risk patients. Regular review of an advanced directive ensures it is up to date on the latest medical care and interventions and the patient’s personal feelings, which can change over time.
Home Hospice Care with Provista Healthcare
Provista Healthcare provides in-home hospice care to patients in the DFW area. We understand treating the patient also means treating their loved ones as well. In addition to skilled medical care of physicians, nurses, and nursing aides, Provista Healthcare provides medical social workers, chaplains, and bereavement counseling to help patients and their loved ones through this difficult time.