As a healthcare practitioner, you play a critical role in helping your patients plan for end of life care. The first step is to have conversations with your patients about their wishes. These conversations about advance directives can be difficult to start, but once you begin you can allow your patients the opportunity to make their own choices about their care before a crisis occurs.
An advance directive is a written statement of a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment, to ensure that their wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to their doctor
Types of advance directives include:
- A Healthcare Proxy
- A Living Will
- A Living Will with a Health Care Proxy
- A Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR)
- Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) – New York State
- Patients can obtain advance directive forms from their healthcare provider, attorney, local Agency on Aging or state health department.
More information is available at https://www.medicare.gov/manage-your-health/advance-directives-long-term-care.