Caring for an elderly loved one can be a blessing and a curse. While you feel safe knowing that your loved one is in good hands, you’re also responsible for their finances, decision-making and even their health care.
But when it comes to health care, however, you may have to jump through some extra hurdles. Depending on the circumstances, state and federal laws are very strict about who can and can’t make medical decisions for others. However, there are still ways you can give them the medical support they need. To do so, you typically need three specific documents.
Gaining medical access for the sake of your loved ones
Here is what you need:
- The HIPPA Authorization Form: This document helps keep a patient’s health records and information private. It’s a simple yet essential form for caregivers, as it allows doctors to keep all designated family members in the know about a loved one’s health status. Luckily, it doesn’t take long to fill out and you can typically do it right at the doctor’s office.
- Medical Power of Attorney: HIPPA only grants access to medical information. However, a power of attorney document can allow you to make medical decisions. Filling out this form is especially crucial if you or your loved one believes they’re becoming mentally incapacitated. Having medical power of attorney can allow you to make decisions regarding your loved one’s medical treatment.
- An Advanced Health Care Directive: Depending on their age and mental state, your loved one will likely want to create a plan of action for when they die. That’s where an advanced directive can be beneficial. The document can help you and your elderly loved one make sure their wishes get fulfilled. Whether they are mentally able to recognize them or not, you can feel better knowing they received the treatment they desire.
Preparation is key
When caring for an elderly loved one, it’s vital to fill out these documents sooner rather than later. And while some of them can take time to work on, trying to work with them after a medical emergency may be too late.