Medical decisions have a way of being intimidating, especially if you have to make them on behalf of your family members or loved ones without their direct input. You may get left trying to guess what you think someone would want in a specific situation. Even if you previously talked about it with them, you may not fully recall the conversation or their wishes could have changed since then.

Being in a situation where you need to make unguided medical decisions on behalf of someone else is stressful. Those close to or past the age of retirement should consider the importance of committing their medical preferences to writing. Even younger adults can benefit, as accidents or sudden medical events occur without warning.

Creating an advance medical directive as part of a comprehensive estate plan protects adults from family members making decisions that don’t align with their wishes. It also protects family members from the emotional strain and possible familial division that comes from making medical decisions on behalf of someone who cannot do so themselves without written guidance.

Your loved one can limit care or make preferences known

Some people experiencing physical or cognitive decline may determine that they no longer wish to undergo extraordinary medical interventions in the event of some kind of bodily issue. From refusing life-support to asking hospital staff to forgo resuscitation efforts, there are many ways in which an individual can limit the medical care they receive.

Conversely, adults can also use an advance medical directive to ensure that every necessary step is taken to keep them healthy and alive. An advance medical directive as part of a living will can outline expectations for care, as well as personal preferences in detail for a variety of potential situations.

The approach an individual takes will vary based on their health, personality, religious practices and other personal concerns. By putting those preferences in writing, older adults protect their own wishes and ensure that they have control over what medical care they receive in the future.

Advance medical directives make care decisions easier

Whether a progressive condition reaches a point where it leaves someone unable to speak for themselves or a sudden medical event puts a person in a coma, an advance medical directive will help their family members make the right decisions regarding their care after such an event. It also places the responsibility for those decisions on the person receiving care, not the people who love them.

It isn’t pleasant or easy to think about the potential for severe medical issues in the future. However, failing to address them will simply leave older adults and the people who love them more vulnerable. Talking to your parents about creating an advance medical directive should be part of your long-term care planning in Georgia.