The Importance of Advance Directives in End-of-Life Care

Image of Advance Health Care Directive Document overlaid on an American Flag

As one continues to age, the need to complete advance directives increases. An Advance Health Care Directive is a written, legal document regarding a person’s preferences for medical care in the event they become unable to make medical decisions for themselves. Advance Directives serve as a guide for doctors and caregivers if one becomes seriously injured, terminally ill, in a coma, or near the end of life. More than a third of Americans have advance directives, which shows just how important they are. 

Why is it essential to have an advance directive?

1. Peace of mind

As people age, they may get to a point where they cannot make decisions for themselves. This reality can be daunting even if the time is yet to be there. Advance directives provide preparation for such eventualities. These documents offer individuals and their loved ones peace of mind no matter what the future holds. 

That is by specifying the kind of end-of-life care an individual wants, the rules for family involvement in their care, among other concerns and wishes.

2. It eliminates confusion and conflict

Decisions linked to end-of-life care are often accompanied by confusion and conflicts if proper planning has not been done. There are conflicts as to whether to continue or discontinue treatment. Other issues include the choice of guardian for seniors and the type of treatment and medication to pursue.

Mostly, family members have different opinions on what would be the best course of action. Such confusion can lead to conflict among family members. An advance directive will go a long way in eliminating potential conflict as the patient will have already decided the kind of care or treatment they want.

3. Positive impact on quality of life

An advance directive will help ensure good quality of life and end-of-life care. With the wishes stated in advance, you can avoid unnecessary hospitalization and ineffective treatment. It allows you to get the most from hospice care. 

4. Reduces stress

It can be stressful for family members to make decisions for a patient without knowing if their loved one would be happy with their decision. Advance directives reduce this burden, as they will not be stressed about making decisions that are aligned with the wishes of their loved ones. It also enhances the satisfaction of the family members with their loved one’s end-of-life care.

Advance healthcare directives are an important tool in ensuring that patients get the kind of care they wish for, eliminates the potential of conflicts, and improves a patient’s end-of-life experience.

To learn more about Assisted Home Health & Hospice and the services we offer and how our compassionate home health care providers can help your family, call us at 800-949-6555 or visit us online at www.AssistedCares.com.

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