As we age our needs change. There is no designated time to say “now it is time to consider higher care”. So taking care of some of the big decisions while you are still able is an important task. By delaying some of these conversations it only puts stress on your loved ones when they need to come alongside you and try to help.
As parents grow older, adult children frequently step into the caregiver role, helping manage daily living tasks such as buying groceries, medical appointments and household chores and maintenance.
Which may also escalate to providing support for your physical and cognitive needs. These new responsibilities can be difficult for your adult children and trying to fit the extra responsibilities into their life can create unnecessary stress.
As you continue to discuss what matters to you with your family, it is recommended that you also put your wishes in writing, in addition centralize your documents by putting all your documents, certificates and cards (originals or photocopies) in one location.
Power of Attorney (POA). Is a legal document that appoints a specific person(s) with the authority to assist you with, or handle your legal and financial affairs – There are two kinds of POA’s – A General POA is in effect when you are cognitively capable and can make decisions alongside your designated person. An Enduring POA can be in effect when you are cognitively capable and most importantly it continues if you become cognitively incapable.
Representation Agreement. A representation agreement is a document that a capable adult (at least 19 years old) uses to appoint another adult, called a representative, to help them make, or to make, personal and health care decisions if they cannot make these decisions on their own.
Advanced Care Planning. Helps you have a say about your health care wishes to be followed if you are unable to communicate such wishes directly. Usually confined to dealing with wishes in respect of life sustaining measures. Topics such as Dialysis, End-of-life Care, a feeding tube, Life support with medical intervention.
Medical order for scope and treatment. “MOST” It is a doctor’s order based on advanced care planning conversation which explore your values, goals, and the range of treatments available. Once decisions are made your doctor can record this on the medical order for scope of treatment or ‘MOST’ form. This helps care provider’s honour what is important to you. You will be given a copy so you can communicate your wishes in all settings of care.