You understand the importance of having a health care proxy make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated, but do you know how to talk about the matter with candidates? You do not want your chosen proxy to learn of your decision after you become medically unresponsive.
The National Institute on Aging offers tips for discussing your advanced care desires. Learn how to make having a hard conversation easier.
Talk with those closest to you
Rather than restricting conversations to potential health care proxies, considering talking about your medical emergency decisions with close friends and relatives. Not only do you help your loved ones understand what you want, but you also give yourself the chance to think about what to include in your advance directive.
Discuss what you care about most
When you and your health care proxy meet, make your beliefs, thoughts and values clear. While you may have legal documents stating your desires, your proxy must make medical decisions according to what you care about. Such information could be hard to discern from your living will or durable power of attorney.
Talk to your doctor
Do not leave your primary physician out of the conversation. Your medical decisions should not come as a surprise to the person charged with taking care of your health, especially in the face of an emergency.
Take action now to protect yourself and your health. By finding the courage to have a tough conversation with your proxy, physician and loved ones, you give those closest to you one less thing to worry about.