Planning for your end-of-life and making final decisions isn’t a task most of us are keen to do. Most of the time we think there is still enough time, to do it “later” until it is too late.
Here are some simple things you can do today, to help and protected yourself and your loved ones.
1. Communicate with Your Family
- Decide which person (or persons) you want to have as your durable power of attorney, to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to decide for yourself.
- Use our helpful guides to find forms specific to your state.
- AHD In Your State – Part 1 (Alabama – Montana)
- AHD In Your State – Part 2 (Nebraska – Wyoming)
3. Talk to Your Doctor
- If you’ re being treated for an illness already, ask your doctor what to expect from the treatments and from the disease as it progresses or warning signs to look out for.
- Don’t be afraid to ask every question you can think of
- Keep the discussion going
An AHD often is not enough to prevent attempts to resuscitate you.
If you have a life-limiting condition and you are sure you do not want your life prolonged, fill out a Physician’s Order for Life-Sustaining (POLST) form. This is an actionable, portable, medical order – even in an ambulance or when traveling in most states. Paramedics, ER doctors, EMTs will start life-prolonging treatments if you don’t have one. Keep copies with you, around your house, with your surrogate and at your hospital. It must be signed by a physician or nurse practitioner.