What is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive is a written document that expresses the individual's wishes for medical care if he or she becomes incompetent or incapacitated. Advance directives may include living wills, health care agents, or durable powers of attorney. When you are admitted to the hospital, a staff member will ask you if you have already prepared an advance directive. If you have an advanced directive, and a copy is available, it will be placed in your medical record.
The Importance of Advance Planning
By planning in advance how to handle different scenarios, a person
can live their life as they desire and gain greater control over decisions
that affect their future. Caregivers need to encourage their loved
one to discuss these issues. This will help their loved one make their
desires known and feel some measure of control over future uncertainties.