What is a Living Will & How Do I Make One?

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What You Need to Know About Creating a Living Will

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While only 30 percent of Americans have a living will, most home care providers in El Dorado Hills recommend seniors create one. A living will, also known as an advanced health care directive, details exactly how you want to be treated if something happens to you and you aren’t able to make your own medical decisions anymore. Here’s what you need to know about creating your living will.

Do I Need One?

While a living will isn’t a necessity, it is the only way to ensure your wishes are followed if you’re alive but unable to make decisions for yourself. If you feel strongly about the type of care you receive–such as being kept alive on a ventilator or being put on a feeding tube–a living will is important. Even if you don’t have strong feelings one way or another, a living will is a way to protect your loved ones and help them feel more secure in how you’re cared for.

How Do I Make a Living Will?

You can easily obtain a living will form from your local hospital, estate attorney, or doctor. Forms are also available online, however, if you get the form online, make sure you check that it’s current with state laws. Once the form is filled out, it needs to be signed, witnessed, and notarized. If you want to provide additional care instructions but there isn’t room, you may want to hire an attorney to help you modify the form.

What Do I Do with My Living Will?

Once the form is filled out and notarized, make sure the right people have a copy. Give one copy to your physician so it can be added to your medical records. It’s also important to give a copy to the person who will make your health care decisions for you, as well as any family member or in-home caregiver who participates in your ongoing care. The original should be kept securely at home.

When Does it Go into Effect?

Your living will only goes into effect if you are found incapacitated and incompetent by a doctor.

For more information on senior planning, turn to the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance. We provide hourly and live-in home care, as well as Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in El Dorado Hills. Our experienced Care Managers are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about planning long-term care or meeting the care needs of your senior loved one. Call our office today at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411.