There are a variety of different options for planning ahead for those diagnosed with or at risk of dementia. While setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) puts you in a much stronger position, there are additional tools at your disposal designed to support advance long term elderly care planning, including making an advance decision.
If you would like to make more specific choices and decisions about your future care, especially where it is likely that the time will come when you no longer have mental capacity to decide for yourself, you can put in place a legally binding advance decision document or an advance statement, also known as a living Will.
An advance decision gives you the opportunity to formally put your care preferences in writing, as well as citing which specific types of treatment you may want or not want to receive in the future. The objective of an advanced decision is to ensure that you are not compelled to receive medical or care treatment that you did not want. This protects you at a time when you can no longer make decisions for yourself.
There are several key advantages in adopting this approach. First of all, it provides you with reassurance about your future care and ensure that your current wishes and views on long term care are respected. It will also help medical teams to structure your future care and allows you to discuss your future care needs more specifically with allied healthcare professionals, and of course your family.
“Eldermera’s elderly care support service brings together a network of healthcare and legal professionals, so if you need to draw up an advanced decision about your future care, we can work with you to make that document as detailed and specific as you wish.”
Where family is concerned, an advance decision on future care can also be reassuring as there is less pressure on them to take critical decisions about your care if they already know about your prior wishes. They can act on your behalf in accordance with your stated wishes, and doctors and medical teams must also adhere to them.
Whilst it is possible to have an advance decision made verbally and recorded in your medial notes, to avoid unnecessary stress and confusion further down the line, it is advisable to have it put together in writing. If the decision is formalised in this way, it means that medical professionals and care givers are fully aware of your intentions and understand which treatments you want and more importantly which ones you are refusing.
For example, some people wish to make it clear that they do not wish to receive life sustaining treatment towards the end of their lives. Others may want to put an advance decision in place to refuse a blood transfusion. You are allowed to make decisions like these when you still have the mental capacity to do so, even if the refusal of a specific treatment hastens the end of your life.
These issues are far from easy to talk about, so it often helps to have a professional team on hand to guide you through the process. Eldermera can help you with this advance care planning and guide you through the formal process. Call us today to find out more.
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