Though it can be very difficult to speak to elderly or aging parents about the need for them to prepare important elder care documents, it’s a conversation you will want to have if your parents have not already done so. Even healthy parents who have no medical concerns need to take a little time to prepare some of these important medical documents. Here are some of the more important ones they will want to consider.
A medical directive is often referred to as a Living Will. These documents list the types of medical care your parent does or does not want to receive if they should lose their ability to communicate. Anyone making a Living Will can change it whenever he or she wants, or simply inform their doctor about their decisions.
Health Care Proxy
If your parent should become mentally incapacitated or unable to make decisions, someone will have to make those decisions for them. Though this often falls to the spouse or close family member, the elderly parents can select who this person is by creating a health care power of attorney or health care proxy.
In conjunction with a health care proxy or Living Will, it’s also important for an elderly parent to create a HIPAA release form. This form allows doctors and other healthcare workers to release specific information about the elderly parent’s medical conditions and history to a person designated by the parent.