When a person is no longer able to make healthcare decisions for themselves, they appoint someone as the power of attorney to make decisions on their behalf. As the power of attorney for both her mother and her aunt, it is important for Liz to be updated on their healthcare preferences. In today’s episode, host Liz Smith is joined in conversation with her mother and her aunt to discuss their personal healthcare wishes.
These conversations can be messy and difficult, and it can be challenging to put aside your own beliefs and desires for your loved one’s healthcare. When Liz’s mom explained that she did not under any circumstances want any form of life support, Liz’s own beliefs toward short term interventions colored what she heard rather than allowing her to really accept what her mom had said at face value. As power of attorney, you have to put aside your own personal preferences to prioritize your loved one’s choices.
If you are appointed as power of attorney for a loved one, it is important that you have these tough conversations and stay current on their healthcare preferences. Whether you are asking about their opinions on receiving life support, taking certain medications, entering a long term care facility, or having a surgery, it is important to talk things out and be clear on their desires.
- “Discuss your health care preferences with your healthcare representative periodically to ensure that he or she knows what your current preferences are.” (2:16-2:23 | Liz)
- “What I often do for clients is a living will or Advanced Directive, which says if you have a terminal and incurable condition, then you don’t want continued life support.” (5:12-5:23 | Liz)
- “Your health care representative had broad powers to make health care decisions for you if you’re unable to make them. Because of this, it’s important for your health care representative to know your wishes regarding your health care preferences.” (16:24-16:37 | Liz)
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