With a living will, you can express how you want your health care providers to treat you in the event you become incapacitated or so ill that you cannot make your health care wishes known. This is an important document to have as you may spare your loved ones a lot of heartache in trying to figure out how to handle your treatment if you are in declining health.
As explained by Forbes, you will need to think about how your doctors should handle different life and health situations as you write your living will. These may not be pleasant to think about, but planning for these situations in advance can do a lot to avoid confusion and perhaps legal challenges later on.
Losing your independence
You may enjoy a life of independence with your own residence and ability to get around the community. But since disease or age can degrade your physical health, you should think about what may happen if you can no longer live on your own. You might need to move into a nursing home, a group home, or make arrangements to live at the home of a relative. Also consider who you would want as your caregiver.
Problems with dementia
The onset of aging can cause your mental faculties to decline. You could lose your ability to make financial or medical decisions. In time, you might not even recognize your friends and family. Consider how you want treatment and care if you experience a degenerative condition like Alzheimer’s disease. Also think about how you want care if you are unable to feed yourself, take a bath or put on clothes without assistance.
End of life situations
Some people experience situations where their health has little to no chance of improving. These are scenarios where you may have to consider whether a doctor should take all, some or no measures to keep you alive. If it looks like a condition may be terminal, some people choose palliative or hospice care instead of life prolonging treatments that may prove agonizing. Also, if your doctors can only keep you alive through life support machines, you might decide it is not worth it and decline such measures in your living will.