• Carrie Klaege

"5 Wishes"Advanced Health Care Directive

This is an easy-to-use legal advance directive document written in everyday language. It helps all adults, regardless of age or health, to consider and document how they want to be cared for at the end of life.

Planning for end of life care is a legal matter. Five Wishes is a simple and legal advanced healthcare directive. Five Wishes records an end of life care plan in plain language. It is important to have a plan for future care in case a senior is unable to make decisions for themselves at that time. Many individuals create living wills to direct such decisions, but may not understand all of the legal jargon. Five Wishes is a very simple legal document written in plain language to ensure individuals receive the end of life care they desire.

Sharing the Basics with Seniors

What is an Advanced Directive?

If a senior faces a health issue that renders them unable to make healthcare decisions for themselves, an advanced directive determines who makes those decisions for them. It an also direct the kind of care they receive.

Why Use Five Wishes as my Directive?

A living will and durable power of attorney for healthcare are two forms of advanced directives. Five Wishes is an advanced directive that covers the same medical topics. Five Wishes also addresses the individual's desires for spiritual, emotional, and personal care.

What Are the Five Wishes?

1. The person you want making care decisions for you when you can't

2. The kinds of medical treatment you do or don't want

3. How comfortable you want to be

4. How you want to be treated

5. What you want loved ones to know

How Can I Complete a Five Wishes Form?

Anyone over the age of 18 can complete the Five Wishes document. To order a hard copy of Five Wishes or complete the form online, visit: www.agingwithdignity.org.

Reasons to Complete Five Wishes

Five Wishes is a gift for seniors and their families. Through this legal document, seniors ensure they experience the kind of care they desire even if they cannot make decisions for themselves.

Family Members

* know what their loved one desires

* know who is responsible for what in the care process

* are protected from disputes about care

* don't have to guess what a loved one would want

* can address non-medical needs with confidence

What If I Already Have a Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney?

If a senior already has a living will or durable power of attorney for healthcare, they can write "revoked" across the documents. They need to notify their lawyer and tell their legal representatives, family, and doctors they have a Five Wishes directive.

Although Five Wishes is designed to be simple, seniors should take their time completing this form. End of life care decisions are significant and should be weighed carefully. If you are assisting a senior who is filling out this document, be sensitive to their wishes in the process.

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