At Lifespark, we’re passionate about keeping you in control of your life as long as possible. One of the ways we do that is by encouraging our clients to create an Advance Directive. By documenting your medical and end-of-life wishes and sharing them with your loved ones and healthcare providers, you’re taking control of life’s most important decisions — and giving your family the gift of knowing what you want.
Lifespark created an Advance Directive eBook to help you and your loved ones talk about and put into writing these important life decisions.
An Advance Directive is a legal document that informs your doctors and your family members about your wishes in the event you can’t speak for yourself. The document includes a written description of your wishes, such as the type of medical care you want or want to avoid, instructions for burial or cremation, and the name of your medical power of attorney, or healthcare proxy.
Contrary to popular belief, Advance Directives are not just for older adults; they’re for everyone 18 years of age or older. Why? Because anyone can have a medical emergency at any time, independent of age or health status.
Your Advance Directive should be as accessible as possible, not locked in a safe deposit box. Give copies to your healthcare proxy (and secondary agent, if you have one), your primary care doctor, and if you choose, family members, faith leader, and trusted friends.
If your loved ones tend to avoid talking about death and dying, consider using an icebreaker to ease into the conversation. Examples include the recent death of a friend, a television show that addressed this issue, a sermon or homily you heard, and news stories about COVID-19.
Misconceptions about Advance Directives can complicate the process of completing and sharing this document. Common myths include: