3 Quality of Life Considerations for Your Health Care Directive.
Many health care directives focus only on how you want to die, forgetting that many people live for years unable to make their own health choices. This guide will give you some helpful tips for making sure that your health care directive reflects your life wishes.
Where to LiveA complete health care directive should guide your agent on selecting your housing. It should specify how long you wish to stay in your home, what services may be provided there, and the terms on which you should be moved- for example, when sufficient care is not available, when it would put your financial health at risk, or when you might be a danger to others living in the home. If you do not wish to stay at home, it should provide guidance on where you wish to live- with family, in a care facility, or other. It should also specify is you wish to remain in a specific geographic region.
Dementia Care and Quality of LifeMany people specify when they should be removed from ventilators, feeding tubes, and other life sustaining treatment at the end of life. Few specify what they want if they have dementia. Most of my clients wish to have standard medical intervention in the early stages of dementia (when they can be physically independent and meaningfully interact with loved ones), but few wish to have life prolonged in later stages (when they cannot be physically independent or they cannot meaningfully interact with loved ones). Most people do not realize that a health care directive can authorize an agent to stop life prolonging care (blood thinners, antibiotics, etc.) and allow a patient to transfer to comfort care. This option relieves many of my clients concerns about becoming a burden to family or outliving what they see as the life they value.
Protect the Things that MatterFor many people, it is not a specific medication or treatment that feels important, but access to those things that define their quality of life- spending time with family and friends, playing a much loved instrument, having a quiet place to be outdoors. The more clear you are about your wishes and preferences, the more likely you are to be able to live a full and happy life even when you are no longer able to make your own choices.