You may be in robust health today. An emergency such as a car accident or a stroke could change that in a heartbeat, as could the diagnosis of a severe, life-threatening illness. Aging can also change your health landscape. If you haven't prepared advance directives or chosen a health care proxy, medical choices could be left to worried relatives or to a doctor or guardian appointed by a judge, none of whom may have a clear understanding of your values, beliefs, and preferences.
Advance Care Planning: A guide to advance directives, living wills, and other strategies for communicating health care preferences, helps guide you through the process of establishing advance directives and appointing a health care proxy.
Five key forms that can assist you are a Health Care Power of Attorney, a Health Decisions Worksheet, a Generic Living Will, a Sample POLST form, and an Advance Directives Tracking Sheet. You can download them here:
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