Many seniors find themselves completing estate planning documents including a will, financial power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney and living will. Unfortunately, some are not fully aware of all their options when it comes to the planning process. Five Wishes is a legal advance directive document that is easy to understand and designed to make it easy for adults to think about how they want to be cared for at the end of life and what is important to them. It is often used as a gentle way to open the topic for discussion with family members who otherwise avoid having what is sometimes viewed as an uncomfortable conversation. Five Wishes becomes a very useful tool when family members are scattered and living out of state as it can help avoid potential disagreements between family members on what the senior’s actual wishes were, especially when the senior is no longer able to communicate.
Five Wishes was created by a non-profit looking for a better way to create a living will. It addresses all areas of life, including medical needs, personal needs, emotional needs, and spiritual needs. The program also helps with discussion guidelines for speaking with family members and doctors to clearly communicate wishes. The five sections are:
A medical power of attorney document is a legal document that gives someone else the ability to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Just like Five Wishes, it is a type of advance directive that covers your preferences. Unlike medical power of attorney documents, Five Wishes goes beyond just medical and healthcare topics to express spiritual, emotional and personal wishes. It aims to be a more holistic way of planning for the end of life.
Five Wishes documents are considered legally valid in almost every state, but some states require additional forms and mandatory notices. It currently meets requirements for 44 states. If you live in Indiana, New Hampshire, Kansas, Ohio, Oregon or Texas, you will need to take additional steps beyond the Five Wishes document.
The choice is yours. Many seniors are choosing Five Wishes because it is so straightforward and easy to understand, while incorporating spiritual and emotional aspects that traditional power of attorney documents do not. It also helps in having difficult conversations about end of life with healthcare personnel and family members, which many seniors appreciate.
Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.
For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.