It has been estimated that 50% of adults do not have any plans in place for their care if they become incapacitated.
Recently, we had a case of a 54 year old that, due to his disease, became unable to make any decisions. His spouse did not have Power of Attorney and was unable to access investment funds for his care. They also have a nine-year-old child.
Because of this, the only alternative was to petition the court for guardianship; a process that is both expensive and needless. Planning is so important for yourself and your loved ones to know of your wishes and, to help you if you are unable.
At the minimum:
- Advanced Directives are written or oral instructions about how you want medical decisions made and by whom should you be unable to. They include:
- A Living Will: A written/oral statement of the kind of medical care you want or don’t want if you become unable to make your own decisions.
- Healthcare Surrogate: a document which names another person as your representative to make medical decisions if you are unable to designate treatment or no treatment.
- DNRO: Do not resuscitate order. You do not wish to be resuscitated from cardiac or respiratory arrest.
- Durable Power of Attorney: Designation of an individual to handle your financial affairs should you become incapacitated and unable to do so.
Templates to get you started are available on a variety of websites.
If we can help, give us a call at 813-468-3842
Anna Inglett is the CEO of Putnam Health Advocates, with corporate headquarters in Tampa, Florida. Anna is a Board-Certified Case Manager (CCM) through the Commission for Case Manager Certification. She holds a degree in Rehabilitation Sciences from Florida State University and a Certificate in Patient Advocacy from the Professional Patient Advocate Institute. Her career has been focused entirely in healthcare, beginning as a therapist with spinal cord injured, stroke and TBI patients. She also has experience as a healthcare executive recruiter and, since 1999, the owner of numerous companies relating to healthcare billing, collections and health advocacy.