The holidays are filled with friends, shopping, and being together with family you only get to see this time of year. And while your visit with parents and siblings should be about catching up, it’s also a good time to check in with your family about important healthcare topics. These conversations are often difficult but necessary.
Do all the members of your family have a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare? MyHealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Your Hospital Stay provides easy and specific steps to complete before being admitted to a hospital.
A durable power of attorney for healthcare or patient advocate designation, is a legal document in which you name the person who will make medical decisions for you if you can’t yourself. This document is often included in your will or trust. That person, called a patient advocate, will only be able to make decisions for you in the event that you can’t communicate yourself. Your patient advocate can only make medical decisions. He or she won’t be able to make decisions about your finances unless you also give them that power in your will or trust. You can also give your patient advocate the power to donate your organs or your entire body upon your death.
Often, people do not like to talk about how they will handle their healthcare if they get sick or age. But finalizing these issues BEFORE you need to is the key. The holidays are a good time to discuss these issues since it is one of the rare times that many family members are together. Even if it’s only to get them on the family radar.
Do you know where Dad keeps his will or trust? Do you know what your Mom and Dad want done when they die? These are important topics to discuss with your family so there will be no surprises. Communication and preparation can avoid conflicts in the family and unnecessary expenses that arise when your family’s wishes are not known when they get sick or die.
So enjoy the holidays but also find some time to have the important discussions that are necessary to be prepared prior to an illness.
Although we’d all like to avoid it, it’s likely that most of us will at some point be admitted to the hospital. Whether you are staying in a hospital for a happy event, such as the birth of a child, or are being admitted due to an emergency or serious illness, you should understand how a hospital works. MyHealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Your Hospital Stay reveals the easy and practical answers that only an insider knows.