Never Too Late - July 2022

Ending Life Well: Conversations & Connections

Your Vision for Your Healthcare By McKenna Reinhard, PCOA End of Life Specialist

healthcare, because it lets you specify what treatments you do or do not want to receive. This can be as general or specific as you want it to be, but some things you may want to consider are: • Resuscitation measures including CPR, intubation, ventilation, and defibrillation • Artificial fluid and nutrition • Blood transfusions • Dialysis • Antibiotics You may also want to consider if there are treatments that you may want in one situation but not another. For example, you may choose to be intubated and put on a ventilator for pneumonia but not for terminal lung cancer. Additionally, you may want to use this document to address after death considerations including body or organ donation, burial vs cremation, funeral/memorial wishes, etc. If you are looking for additional information on these topics, PCOA has resources related to end of life planning available on our website both on the End of Life page and in the Resource Directory. Another way to communicate your vision for your healthcare is by completing the Healthcare Power of Attorney and Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney forms. These documents allow you to name the individual(s) that will be able to speak for you in the event that you cannot speak for

Most of us have probably heard the phrase “hindsight is 20/20”, and this sentiment is something that we on the End of Life Team at PCOA witness fairly frequently. People often tell us that they wish a loved one had completed their advance directives because it would have made a difficult process just a little bit easier. Unfortunately, the value of these documents often goes unrecognized until a difficult situation arises. Since July is Healthy Vision Month, we wanted to take this opportunity to talk about how these documents are part of having a healthy vision for the future of your healthcare. The term “advance directives” is an umbrella term that encompasses several important planning documents. In Arizona, the four documents that fall into the category of advance directives are: • Living Will • Healthcare Power of Attorney • Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney • Pre-Hospital Directive Each of these has a unique role in helping you communicate your vision for your health care. The Living Will is the advance directive that is going to allow you to explain to others what your wishes are for your

yourself. Your power of attorney should be someone who knows for you and will advocate for your wishes about your healthcare. The final document that you may choose to complete is the Pre-Hospital Directive which is also called the Do Not Resuscitate form or the orange form, due to the fact that it has to be printed on bright orange paper. This form tells emergency personnel that you do not want to be resuscitated if your heart or lungs stop working. If you choose to complete this form, it is important to post it in a prominent place in your home, like on the front of your refrigerator. By deciding which of these documents are appropriate for you and your situation and completing them, you allow your loved ones and healthcare providers to see through your eyes and understand what your vision for your care is. If you have questions about these documents or want assistance completing them, the PCOA End of Life Team is here to help. You can get in contact with one of our End of Life Specialists by calling 520-790-7262.

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Pima Council on Aging

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