4 seniors: What to know about advance care planning during COVID-19

4 Seniors

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Creating a living will is one of those things most people plan to do, but they rarely get around to actually doing it.

Only about one-third of Americans currently have one, but COVID-19 may be changing that.

Advance Directives

To spell out your wishes regarding end-of-life medical treatment, you have two documents. A ‘living will’ tells your doctor what kind of care you want to receive if you become incapacitated, and a ‘health care power of attorney’ names a person you authorize to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to make decisions yourself.

These two documents are known as an ‘advance directive’ and will only be utilized if you are too ill to make medical decisions yourself. It isn’t necessary to hire a lawyer to prepare an advance directive. There are free or low-cost resources available to help you create one and it only takes a few minutes from start to finish.

One of the best, which is completely free, is My Directives. This is an online tool and mobile app that will help you create, store, and share a detailed, customized digital advance directive. Their easy-to-use platform combines eight thoughtful questions to guide you through the process.

The advantage of having a digital advance directive is being able to access it quickly during emergency situations.

If you already have a paper document, you can upload, store and share the document at the My Directives website.

If you would rather have a paper document, one of the best do-it-yourself options if the Five Wishes advance directive. Five Wishes costs $5 and is available in many languages. You can visit the Five Wishes website or call 850-681-2010.

To ensure your final wishes are followed, make sure to tell your family members, health care proxy, and doctors.

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