Everyone hopes for a dignified death -- but what that means from one person to the next is different. That's why advance directives were created. Given the vast capacity to prolong life through medical intervention in today's world, it's necessary for people to say what type of life-sustaining measures they do and don't want for themselves.
You took a smart step and gave a trusted relative or friend your health care power of attorney -- which is excellent.
A power of attorney (POA) grants someone the power to act on your behalf, with all of the decision-making capability that you normally have. POAs can be drafted for both medical and financial concerns and are often used by people to manage the affairs of their relatives once those relatives are no longer able to manage things on their own.
If you watch a lot of television dramas, you might think that everyone who has a will has a lawyer looking after it -- or, at the very least, a wall safe where it can be kept away from prying eyes and meddlesome relatives.
Advance directives are legal documents that help you retain control over your last days. Advance directives include medical powers of attorney, living wills and -- at least for some people -- do not resuscitate orders (DNRs). In Colorado, DNRs are commonly called cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) directives.
When parents get older, it's only natural for adult children to step in and start to make arrangements for their care. Unfortunately, a family civil war can easily get started when the adult kids can't agree on how to care for their elderly parents.
What happens when an elderly loved one needs someone to handle his or her financial affairs as a conservator? What if they also need someone to take charge of their day-to-day welfare as a legal guardian? Is it better to have a family member of a professional handle the job?
Assisted living can be a haven for many older adults who need just a little extra help to maintain their independence. What happens, though, when the facility's director calls and tells you that your elderly relative is being evicted?
Communicating your concerns about your aging parent's ability to manage alone or make important decisions isn't easy. Most people don't even know how to start.
Do you know the signs of elder financial abuse when you see them?