Many people think that a Power of Attorney for Healthcare only talks about end of life situations, for example, whether or not to “pull the plug.” This is unfortunate because they also may believe if they make their wishes clear to their family, then they don’t need one.
The reality is that a Power of Attorney for Healthcare covers a lot more, including those healthcare decisions that may need to be made at any point in your life when you can’t make them personally. For anyone, especially someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s who may not be able to verbalize what is happening, having one in place can save a lot of time and money when it comes to healthcare decisions.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses another topic covered in The Alzheimer’s Guide: Practical Advice for Families, Caregivers and Professionals and clears up a common and unfortunate misconception about what is covered by a Power of Attorney for Healthcare.
Alzheimer’s and Understanding the Scope of What’s Covered by a Power of Attorney for Healthcare
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our video series that talks about things that we cover in more depth in our Alzheimer’s Guide. Today I want to clear up a very common and unfortunate misconception about Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and what all they cover.
Many people unfortunately think that they only talk about end of life situations, whether to pull the plug, and they figure, “Well, I’ve already made my wishes clear to my family and my doctor, so I don’t need one.” But, the reality is that Powers of Attorney for Healthcare cover all of those healthcare decisions that may need to be made at any point in your life when you can’t make them personally.
Let me give you a simple example. Let’s say that one evening you have chest pains. You have Alzheimer’s, so what they can see is that you have a pained expression on your face and that you are clutching your chest. Well, you know, that may mean that you are having a major heart attack or it may mean that you have a serious case of indigestion. And if you can’t talk, and no one can talk for you legally, the doctor may have no choice other than to put you through $20,000 worth of tests that take a day and a half to run to rule out everything that might be causing your chest pains.
So, it’s so important for all of those things that can happen to you that you have a Power of Attorney for Healthcare in place. Thanks.
For more information on Alzheimer’s Guide Topics, visit these articles
- Can Someone Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s Still Execute Legal Documents?
- Essential Legal Document’s Anyone With Alzheimer’s Needs to Have in Place
- Alzheimer’s and the Powers of Attorney for Property: Why the document’s specific language matters so much
“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”
Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.