Denver Post: Who do you want at your bedside when you are seriously ill or injured, unable to speak for yourself, or facing the end of life? Think about the person who knows your values, goals, priorities, and commitments best. The person who understands how you define “quality of life” and what is most important to you. The person brave and tough enough to go toe-to-toe with a host of white-coated professionals – and possibly other loved ones – to ensure your wishes are followed. The person who will be there in the crisis after the accident, or who will be in it for the long haul of heart disease, cancer, or Alzheimer’s. Who will it be?
And then, once you’ve made your choice, talk to that person -– ask if this is a job they are willing to accept. Share with them, even if you think they already know, all your fears, wishes, and preferences. And then -– complete a Medical Durable Power of Attorney. The form is available in a booklet “Your Right to Make Healthcare Decisions” available in any healthcare facility or by download from www.lifequalityinstitute.org.
No witnesses, notary, or attorney required. If you need help starting the conversation, check out The Conversation Project, www.theconversationproject.org, for helpful advice and tools.