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SOURCE: Community Hospice of Texas
Planning ahead is important. Making wishes known, having a living will, a health care proxy, and a power of attorney are all an important part of advanced care planning.
Fort Worth, TX (PRWEB) February 03, 2013
Community Hospice of Texas, the largest provider of non-profit hospice care in Texas, wants to guide a discussion of advanced care planning. Having a plan for the last phases of a patients’ life or before a crisis can make a huge difference in how families respond and cope.
Working together with loved ones, it is best to begin the discussion about advanced directives when there is time to have a thoughtful and honest conversation. What are advanced directives? Advanced directives are the instructions, or wishes of how a patient wants to be treated during their final stages of life. When a patient communicates their wishes in advance, there will be less confusion during a crisis.
Advanced directives can begin with a conversation about what the patient wants to happen in their last days. Do they want in-home care or be in a hospital? With whom do they want to spend their last days or moments? Who will make medical decisions for them when or if they are incapacitated? Will the patient want aggressive, life-sustaining medical treatment or palliative care?
A part of advanced directives is a living will. A living will is a set of instructions that records a patient’s wishes in regards to their medical care. It can specifically state what those wishes are and how they should be carried out. The living will is signed by witnesses to make it a legal document.
If the patient is unable to make medical decisions during their final days, they can appoint a health care proxy, or health care power of attorney. The health care proxy will make decisions based upon the patient’s wishes, and can be given as little or as much authority as the patient desires.
The patient should also appoint a durable Power of Attorney. This person will act on the patient’s behalf when the patient is incapacitated and can make either healthcare decisions or financial decisions.
Preparing an advanced care plan can be a difficult process, but can give patients and loved ones peace of mind during a turbulent and overwhelming time. After the plans are made and documented, it is important to share them with loved ones, health care providers, and anyone else who may become involved with the patient’s care.
About the company:
Community Hospice of Texas is a community-based, mission-driven provider of hospice care. For 17 years, we have dedicated ourselves to providing expert medical care and support to families in Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding communities. Because life matters, they’re here to provide all the support people need. For more information or to schedule a group meeting please call or visit http://www.chotdfw.net.
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