What’s Your Advance Care Plan?

Advance care planning can be confusing.  While advance care plans are designed to simplify medical care and guide decisions for treatment, many of the tools used in advance care planning can be complex. In this month’s Summerset Assisting Living Community blog, we want to cover a few of these documents and how you can use them to guide your or a loved one’s medical care.

What is an Advance Directive and How Does It Work?  An advance directive is a legal document that is used to guide your medical treatment when you become incapacitated due to illness or a medical emergency. According to the National Institute on Aging, there are two main elements in an advance directive—a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care. There are also other documents that can supplement your advance directive. You can choose which documents to create, depending on how you want decisions to be made. These documents include:

  • Living Will: Tells medical professionals how to provide treatment if you are dying or unconscious. This covers what you’d like to happen in various medical scenarios including providing CPR or other life sustaining treatments.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: Names a decision-making surrogate or proxy who will oversee making medical decisions if you’re incapacitated. This person should be familiar with your wishes.
  • Other advance care planning documents: These documents cover what isn’t specified in the advance directive or durable power of attorney for healthcare. They cover issues related to end of life treatment such as “Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)” orders, organ or tissue donation or “Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)” forms.
    • A DNR tells medical professionals not to return your heart to a normal rhythm if it stops or is beating unsustainably using CPR or other life-support measures (NIA).
    • Organ and Tissue Donation can be specified in advance care planning documents and describe your wishes.
    • A POLST provides guidance about your medical care preferences in the form of a doctor’s orders. Typically, you create a POLST when you are near the end of life or critically ill and know the specific decisions that might need to be made on your behalf. These forms serve as a medical order in addition to your advance directive (NIA).

Seek Professional Legal Advice. While this information is helpful, it serves only as a starting point in helping you start the process of considering advance care planning.  Meet with an estate planning attorney to learn more. If you’re in Georgia or Florida, please reach out to a Summerset representative to meet with an experienced Elder Care attorney.

As you consider care options for your loved one, you can rest assured that Summerset’s premiere community where guests will enjoy an environment that makes them feel at home. Learn more about Summerset.


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Your Home Away from Home | Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Summerset Assisted Living Community is focused on providing top quality, excellent, compassionate care for those we serve. Schedule a tour today or give us a call at (470) 231-2357![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]