Thinking about the kind of medical treatment you would want in case you were badly hurt or sick can be hard. But if you can’t decide for yourself, your family and friends must know your wishes for medical care. Preparing an Advance Directive, also known as a Living Will, or naming someone as your Health Care Proxy are ways to be sure your wishes are carried out.
Advance Directive/Health Care Proxy
An Advance Directive lets you write down what you do or don’t want done in case you can’t make medical decisions yourself.
A Health Care Proxy is a form that lets you name someone you choose to make decisions for you if you can’t. It might be a family member, friend, or neighbor. If you name someone to speak for you, it is very important to tell them what you do or don’t want. Remember to speak with your doctor and let him or her know what you have decided. Tell the doctor if you have an Advance Directive or a Health Care Proxy form. Also let your doctor know if you make changes to either of these forms. Telling your doctor about your choices will help make sure that you will get the care you choose.
For more information on how to plan ahead, check out the NYC Department for the Aging’s following website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dfta/html/senior/advance-care-planning.shtml