A healthcare agent is someone entrusted with the responsibility of making potentially life-altering decisions for you should you be unable to do so for yourself, perhaps because of an accident or emergency. It is important to list your healthcare agent on your Advance Healthcare Directive, ensuring they have the proper legal standing to make these decisions on your behalf.
There are many important factors to consider in choosing your healthcare agent. For some, selecting a local or capable adult child or family member makes it an easy decision. For those who have an elderly spouse, are without children, or whose children are unable to fill the role, it is not as simple.
Solo Aging Solutions, LLC (SAS) was created to provide the support of qualified persons to act as informed healthcare decision makers. Our services are based on a protocol that will ensure each SAS Healthcare Agent is fully aware of their clients’ healthcare desires and ready to uphold their clients’ wishes should they be unable to make their own decisions.
Assessing the health, age, and accessibility of your potential healthcare agent is an important first step to assess if your candidate has the ability and disposition to act when you are unable. For instance, some married couples do not select their spouse as their healthcare agent should their spouse have significant medical conditions or are of advanced age. Likewise, people who have a high stress job or travel often may not be the right choice due to their unavailability and demanding schedule.
Your healthcare agent should also be comfortable following your instructions even if they do not coincide with their own views. Often in this role, important decisions related to withholding treatment, pursuing surgery with complication risks, or allowing natural death must be made in a timely manner. Your healthcare agent needs to feel confident in making such decisions through open dialogue and an understanding of your beliefs and values. Your healthcare agent should be ready to advocate on your behalf, requesting a second opinion when necessary, to ensure you receive quality care and treatment.
Making important medical decisions can be a very heavy and emotional task. Your healthcare agent should be someone who is able to separate their emotions and follow your wishes, even when those wishes may not include prolonging life. The fast-paced medical world can often be overwhelming for some, especially when the discussion of death and dying is unavoidable. While a medical background is not a requirement for being a person’s healthcare agent, your healthcare agent should be comfortable in a hospital setting.
To learn more about Solo Aging Solutions, LLC and how we can assist you with your healthcare decision making, contact 805-728-9800.