Whether you have an elderly loved one who’s just moved into an assisted living facility or your loved ones are just thinking ahead for the future, you may have been asked or deemed to be someone’s medical power of attorney. What this means is that if this person is no longer able to make their own medical decisions, you’ll step in and make those choices for them.
While this is a big responsibility, there are things you and your loved one can do to make this easier for everyone involved. To help you see how this can be done, here are three ways to prepare for being someone’s medical power of attorney.
Make Things Legal
In many cases, if someone hasn’t designated a specific person to be their medical power of attorney, their closest family member will be asked to make these types of medical decisions for them. So if that family member isn’t the person that should be calling the shots, you’ll need to make sure that you are legally the person who will be called upon if and when these kinds of decisions need to be made.
Ideally, there should be legal forms that are filled out specifying you as the legal medical power of attorney and signed by your loved one. A lawyer can help you in drawing these things up. This way, there will be no question if and when the time comes for you to make medical decisions for your loved one.
Become Well Versed In What They Want
Now that you know that you’re to be the medical power of attorney for your loved one, you should spend some time with them so that you can discover what types of decisions they would want made about their health.
Some of the questions you should ask include things like what medical procedures they want done or not done for them, if they would like heroic measures taken to save their life, what kinds of end-of-life care they would prefer, and more. With this information, you won’t have to make these tough decisions all on your own.
Commit To Following Their Wishes
While you might think that you’ll easily be able to do whatever your loved one wants when making their medical decisions for them, many people find it hard to forgo care when it’s what their loved one has asked for. So to help you feel more at peace with things, try to come to terms with your commitment to following their wishes. You can rest easier knowing that this is what they wanted and that you respected their desires.
If you’ve just been told that you’re a loved one’s medical power of attorney, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you prepare for this responsibility.