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The Educated Caregiver

An educated caregiver is the first step in providing quality care to an aging friend or loved one. The legal system is many times the most difficult to sort out. To make things easier, here is a basic guide to understanding important legal terminology: 

  • A living will is a legal document and a declaration that you desire to die a natural death. You do not want extraordinary medical treatment or artificial nutrition or hydration used to keep you alive if there is no reasonable hope of recovery. A living will gives your doctor permission to withhold or withdraw life support systems under certain conditions. 

  • A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you if you are incapable of doing so. This is very important and not to be taken lightly. You will be giving your power to someone else! Having durable power of attorney for healthcare or property will give authority to another person to make financial/legal/healthcare decisions on your behalf. It is called "durable" because it remains effective even if the person becomes mentally incompetent. 

  • A health care directive is similar to a living will. You are able to state your wishes in advance regarding your end-of-life care. This is very important if you do not wish to have any life saving heroics or machines to prolong your existence. This is a personal matter and one not to be taken lightly.

  • An Elder Law Attorney can help caregivers to make important legal decisions. When selecting an elder law attorney, it is important to evaluate what they specialize in, how many years of experience they have, and if they are a good fit for your situation. You may consider hiring an Eldercare Specialist to guide you through the selection process and to help with other details involved in caregiving. 

Source: National Family Caregiving Alliance

For more information regarding your Caregiving needs contact an ElderCare specialist at 314-802-5106 and visit us at www.caringworkplace.com