It's Never Too Early, Until It's Too Late
Give Yourself Peace of Mind with an Advance Health Care Directive
Life is full of surprises. Some are wonderful, like an unexpected phone call from a long-lost friend. Other surprises though, like a sudden illness or a pandemic, can be cause for worry. One way to ease these worries is to make sure we are prepared for what comes our way. Having an advance health care directive is a great way to make sure you are prepared for illness or incapacity. A health care directive is a document that allows you to nominate an agent to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to make them for yourself.
There are many benefits to having a health care directive, including:
Choosing your decision maker and specifying what decisions they can make for you;
Expressing your wishes for end-of-life care; and
Avoiding a guardianship proceeding.
Make sure you select someone you trust as your agent, and discuss your wishes and preferences with them in advance. Also, be sure to give a copy of your directive to your healthcare providers so they are aware of your wishes. You are free to revoke or change your directive at any time if your preferences change.
You can get started on your healthcare directive by visiting https://ucoa.utah.edu/directives/ for a copy of the health care directive form as well as additional information on filling it out.
Remember, a health care directive is not a Do Not Resuscitate (or POLST) order.
Give yourself peace of mind, and complete your advance health care directive today.
Kate Nance works for Adult Protective Services, managing a grant to reduce financial exploitation of vulnerable adults in the state of Utah. She previously worked as an attorney specializing in elder law, including estate planning, guardianships/conservatorships, and probate matters. She has seen first hand the devastating effects that financial exploitation and scams have on individuals and their families, and is passionate about providing education and services to empower seniors on this topic.