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Advanced Directives: Does My Parent Need One?

An increasing segment of the population consists of adults with parents who are living well into their golden years. Faced with this situation, many people find themselves pondering the needs for their parents to execute advance directives. In addition, the need may exist for parents to execute companion instruments (technically known as a durable power of attorney) for financial matters and a durable power of attorney for medical decisions. These instruments tend to go hand in hand.

As a leading provider of elder home care in Albuquerque, we wanted to share some important information on advance directives and other legal matters to ensure that families are able to carry out their loved one’s wishes should an accident or change in health take place.

Advance Directive

At its essence, an advance directive delineates what types of extraordinary medical procedures a person desires to submit to in a time of a medical crisis. For example, a person can indicate whether or not he or she wants to be resuscitated and under what conditions or circumstances.

Durable Medical Power of Attorney

Not all medical conditions or situations are cut and dry. Many do not involve decisions to terminate life support. However, events occur when a parent may be unable to make these decisions for his or her self. A durable medical power of attorney designates another person to make medical decisions on that individual’s behalf during a period of incapacity. The durable element means it endures and is in force beyond the time a person becomes unable to make health decisions independently.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

The day may come when an aging parent or loved one does not want to, or is unable to, take care of his or her finances. A durable financial power of attorney designates another individual to take care of a person’s financial affairs. Durable financial power of attorney and durable medical power of attorney are especially important for families caring for seniors with memory conditions. Seniors who require dementia or Alzheimer’s home care in Albuquerque will at some point be unable to make such decisions without help, and family should plan for this accordingly.

Applicable Laws

The laws in each of the 50 states are similar regarding these types of instruments. However, there can be some variation regarding how they are drafted and executed. In addition, the names assigned to these instruments can vary a bit from one jurisdiction to another so it’s important to talk to an legal specialist to ensure the proper advanced directives are completed.

Interested in learning more about senior care and future care planning? Reach out to Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque today. While we specialize in 24 hour live-in care, we also provide part-time care for seniors in Albuquerque and the surrounding communities. For more information about home care for a loved one’s current or future needs, call 505-798-0800 and speak with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.