Solutions for Seniors: Making a documented health care plan for later in life

Solutions for Seniors: Making a documented health care plan for later in life. (File photo)

Experts with St. Luke's Medical Center tell CBS 2 News that advanced care planning is vital in order to avoid potential issues in your later years.

It's having conversation with your loved ones, and making a long term plan in case of worst case scenarios.

Questions like: Where will you live? What medical care will you need? What insurance coverage do you need? Or even, do you want hospice care at the end of life?

And it doesn't end there.

Experts with St. Luke's tell me that talking with your doctor and your loved ones about advance directive documents regarding your preferences for medical care is the first step.

These are documents that prepare you for the future, if you do become ill or incapacitated.

These are things such as a living will, durable power of attorney for healthcare, or physician order for scope of treatment known more commonly as a POST.

"To really be prepared for this, the best time to do this is today when you can take the time think about things and reflect on them and make decisions that really aren't forced by an event that may change how you see things," says Amy Stang, Program Manager for Advanced Care Planning for St. Luke's Medical Center. "So its really good to take the time to do that today and talk to those around you and really let them know what is meaningful and what matters to you."

Stang tells CBS 2 that there are many resources that can help with planning right here at home.

Honoring Choices Idaho is one resource here in the Treasure Valley that can help empower individuals to make documented decisions and start the conversation.

For more information on St. Luke's services such as advanced directive resources, hospice care, classes and support groups dealing with illness, care-giving, grief, and loss click HERE.

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