Why You Need an Advanced Directive Now

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Before funerals at funeral homes in Dayton, OH, you should have an advanced directive in place. Most people resist getting advanced directives because they think they are too young, or they’re healthy, or they’ll get one when they really need it.

A lot of this resistance comes from the fear of talking about the end of life, which is what advanced directives cover. People don’t like thinking that they will die, so they put off getting a very critical piece of their medical care.

Advanced directives let us dictate how the end of our lives should go. We never know when tragedy might strike and we won’t be able to make medical decisions for ourselves and our very lives may even hang in the balance.

Advanced directives take the guesswork out of a situation like this, which could happen to any of us at any time.

One part of an advanced directive is a medical power of attorney. This document names a proxy – another individual that we trust – who can make medical decisions for us if we are not able to make them ourselves. While this is an end-of-life document, it also goes into effect if we are unconscious, for example, during a surgery.

The person we name as our medical proxy should have our complete medical history, including a current list of medications with daily dosages, all surgeries that we have undergone, and all health condition we have had or we have. If we have any allergies to medications, we should let them know those as well. This is all vital information that they will need if they have to step in and make medical decisions for us.

A medical power of attorney is legal as long as it is signed and dated. A copy should be given to the person we choose as our proxy, and we should keep the original document with our important papers.

Another document in an advanced directive is a living will. Living wills let us specify the kind of treatment we want if we are facing a life-threatening illness or accident. Living wills let us consent to have every possible means of treatment applied to our medical condition to save our lives or withhold consent to exhaustive treatment and give consent for care to make us comfortable as we die.

Without a living will, medical staff are bound by the Hippocratic Oath to do everything within their power to try to sustain our lives, even if the outcome eventually will be death. Some of these treatments can be excruciatingly painful and can only delay the inevitable. For example, giving a feeding tube to someone who has had a massive stroke and cannot swallow will keep them alive only until the feeding tube is removed. There is no quality of life and the medical treatment can be very expensive.

If we have a signed and dated living will, then medical personnel must adhere to our wishes. They will not give less care if we choose to die naturally without medical intervention, and they will make sure that we are comfortable.

The final piece of an advanced directive is a durable power of attorney. This document designates someone we trust to be able to handle our financial affairs while we’re living if we’re unable to. Durable powers of attorney end when we die, and the person we’ve named executor takes over our affairs, including our finances.

If you’d like guidance about advanced directives at funeral homes in Dayton, OH, our compassionate and experienced staff at Glickler Funeral Home & Cremation Service can help. You can come by our funeral home at 1849 Salem Ave., Dayton, OH 45406, or you can contact us today at (937) 278-4287.

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