We are blessed in this country to have the freedom to make decisions regarding our own health. The problem comes in when we aren’t able to speak up for ourselves any longer. This is a common scenario in those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. But it could apply to any one of us. Even young people can suffer an event that leaves them incapable of choosing a course of action for their own health.

This is where Advance Directives come in.

What is an Advance Directive?

An advance directive is your spoken and written word, specifying the type of health care you desire for your future should the need arise. You can name a person to speak for you when you no longer can, and even guard against a specific person from having a say.

Indiana pays special attention to advance directives, but only when you cannot speak for yourself. If you have the ability to make decisions and voice them, your advance directives do not come in to play.

The types of advance directives specified by the state of Indiana are:

  • Talking directly to your physician and family
  • Organ and tissue donation
  • Health care representative
  • Living Will Declaration or Life-Prolonging Procedures Declaration
  • Psychiatric advance directives
  • Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Declaration and Order
  • Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST)
  • Power of Attorney

The Importance of Advance Directives

Advance directives are not required by any means. They’re a choice. Your choice. And they allow for your health care choices to be heard when you aren’t able to speak them. With an advance directive, you’re able to provide guidance to your physician and to your family in the event that you are no longer able to voice your choices.

If you don’t have an advance directive and are unable to make health care decisions, Indiana law is given the authority to appoint who makes those decisions for you. Either a member of your immediate family or a person appointed by a court will be chosen.

By drawing up an advance directive, you’ll be standing up for yourself during a very difficult time as well as your loved ones who desire to advocate for you. Advance directives will aid in avoiding conflict as their won’t be any question as to what your desires for your health care are.

What Next?

Are you ready to draw up an advance directive? Take a few minutes to read through Indiana State Department of Health file that walks you through the important details. Your next step would be to contact your physician and a lawyer to put things in motion. If this all seems like too much at the moment, have a family meeting and discuss your healthcare plans so your loved ones can be your voice.

Stand up for your own healthcare choices by drawing up your advance directives as soon as possible. And as always, Turning Point is here to help!