My family members frequently ask: “What’s the fun plan?” And I can usually come up with some good answers to that question. I hope you had some fun plans that were carried out in 2015 because the year has come to a close. I was impressed with our community’s fun plan options for the holiday season. We enjoyed the Rocky Creek Corn Maze, the Victoria Christmas Parade and the Cuero Snow Day. We really made the rounds this year with our fun plans! We also were apart of Be a Santa for a Senior again this year, and I was again overwhelmed by the generous response of our community to over 200 people in our older population.
Planning for 2017 is already underway, and this is a good time of year for you to take a broad view at your life plans. No matter your age, advance care planning is the responsible thing to do; completing Advance Directives can be a first step in care planning.
Having the conversations about advanced directives helps you and your family members. Advanced directives bring peace of mind for your family in tough situations because they enable them to know exactly how you wish for your care to be carried out. They also alleviate bickering amongst family members because decision makers have already been established and your wishes are known. This is a huge gift to your family and offers some semblance of order in what would be a very high stress situation. There are different types of Advance Directives and there is a list at the end of this article.
Advance Directives List:
• Statutory Durable Power of Attorney (SDPOA)—Appoints a person and an alternate to handle your day-to-day affairs for you if you were to become incapacitated. This person can pay bills and sign off on checks for you. This form should be filled out with an attorney.
• Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA)—Appoints a person and an alternate to make medical decisions for you if you were to become incapacitated.
• Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates (Living Will)—This form is used to communicate your wishes for how you would want your medical care to be carried out in the case that you are unable to do so. Your MPOA is obligated to follow what you specify here.
• Out Of Hospital-Do Not Resuscitate Order (OOH-DNR)—This form states that you do not want to be resuscitated if it was ever to become necessary. If the paramedics are ever called on your behalf and resuscitation is needed they are obligated by law to do so unless the person who called them (or someone else on the scene) is able to show them a copy of a filled out Texas OOH-DNR.
Examples of people who may choose to have an OOH-DNR are as follows:
o A person on Hospice or Palliative care
o A very elderly person who is unlikely to survive CPR and does not want to go through the trauma.
o A person who has a medical condition which they know is likely to leave them in a vegetative state if they undergo CPR and they do not want to risk it.
o A person who has elected to do so for their own personal reasons
Thank you for taking time to read my column! I hope that it is helpful and brings some light to you. Happy New Year and Happy Planning!
The information provided is for general information and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Any legal advice needed for a particular situation should be obtained from an attorney.