Thanks to advancements in technology, today’s Pennsylvania residents live longer than previous generations. For many people, living longer also increases the risk of suffering from dementia or catastrophic illnesses. At Skala Miller, PLLC, Attorneys at Law, we often help clients plan for the future with a living will and designate a power of attorney.

Kiplinger explains that an advance directive does makes your preferences for end-of-life care known. This document can state your stance regarding pain management vs. aggressive treatment and name your health care agent. However, on its own, it may not be enough. It is critical for you to ensure that your family understands your wishes. Update the directive regularly or whenever there are significant life changes, such as the following:

  • New diagnosis
  • Death of a family member
  • Divorce
  • Medical decline
  • New decade of life

A living will and health care power of attorney states your preferences for life-saving measures and life-sustaining treatments. You can specify whether you want resuscitation, hospitalization or comfort care if you become incapacitated. The person you designate as your health care agent has the responsibility for making decisions on your behalf. Make sure they can assume that role and have an in-depth discussion about your wishes.

Share the legal document with your doctors, family members and anyone else who has an interest in your health and well-being. An experienced attorney can help you make the provisions necessary for a variety of circumstances. Advance-planning documents can also help you have a voice in your care if dementia becomes an issue. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.