Sophie was laying in her bed feeling feverish and a little bit lost. She was wondering how she was going to pull herself out of bed to get to the health clinic. She longed for the times when her mom would take her to the doctor, but mom was not there and so Sophie would have to fend for herself.
For most of us, as children, our parents were there to help us when we were sick. Wasn’t that chicken noodle soup your mom made you when you had a cold the best? But as adults, we are often left to fend for ourselves when we are sick. For the typical house cold or flu, we are able to manage. But what if we come down with a health condition that effects our ability to make decisions for ourselves? Who makes decisions for us in that scenario?
Experience dictates that YOU are the best judge of who is the right candidate to act for you to make health decisions if you cannot. If you leave the decision about who will act to chance, it is possible that your family may disagree about who should act and what health decisions should be made on your behalf.
- 82% of people say it is important to put their wishes regarding health decisions in writing.
- 23% have actually done it. (California HealthCare Foundation, 2012)
Think about who in your life shares your philosophy about major health decisions. Would you want to be put on a ventilator? A stomach tube? Do you want your life prolonged or are you a “pull the plug” type? Should your 20 year old daughter make these decisions for you? Your 80 year old mother? These are tough decisions and they love you. Maybe your daughter would want to do this for you. It is important to select a healthcare agent and to execute a legal document (called a power of attorney for Healthcare in Illinois) to legally select your chosen healthcare agent and to ensure that your philosophy is carried out.
CLICK HERE for a link to the QUIZ for HOW TO PICK A HEALTH CARE AGENT OR PROXY from the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission for Law and Aging Consumer’s Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning.
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