As family caregivers, we want our loved ones to feel safe and cared for. We want them to participate in important decisions but, it’s a hard fact of life that many people end up confused and afraid, largely because family members weren’t prepared to make tough choices. The best way to avoid this, is to talk in advance, both specifically and in some depth, about your loved one’s fears and hopes, and how they want decisions handled. Then brace yourself to follow those wishes. They may not want what you want or what their medical team wants. To ensure their wishes are met, there are some legal issues to confront.
Pretty much every adult should have:
- An up-to-date will
- A durable power of attorney (giving someone the authority to make financial and legal decisions on their behalf)
- A living will (outlining wishes for end-of-life care), and a durable power of attorney for health care (which is geared specifically toward medical decisions)
If you have the discussion about their wishes when they can contribute to the conversation, and you take the necessary steps to complete the legal requirements, you’ll be able to honor their wishes. For a copy of advance directives forms, visit the CT.gov website