A staggering 84% of Pennsylvania adults have not prepared an Advance Directive that would tell physicians, family, and other health care providers their wishes. It is vital for everyone over the age of 18 to consider filling out their Advance Directives. Afterall, you can't predict the future.
The Pennsylvania Directive is your state’s living will. It allows you to express your wishes about the medical care in the event that you develop a terminal condition or enter a state of permanent unconsciousness and can no longer make your own medical decisions. When a doctor receives a copy and determines that you are incompetent or in an end-stage medical condition or state of permanent unconsciousness, the Living Will becomes effective. You can name another person (family, friend, neighbor, etc), called the healthcare agent to make decisions about your medical care when you can no longer speak yourself.
How Can I prepare my advance directive?
You do not need a lawyer to fill out a living will and medical power of attorney form. You can find the forms at your state hospice organization, local hospitals, public health departments, state bar associations or state aging offices. It is very important that you use advance directive forms specifically created for your state so that they are legal. Read the forms carefully and make sure you follow legal requirements determined by your state.
Be sure to give your completed copies to your doctor and your healthcare agent. Keep the original in a safe place. Be sure to have your copy in an accessible place, not locked away in a safe. You'll need to get to it quickly in the event of an emergency.
Whom should I name as my healthcare agent?
Your healthcare agent is the person you appoint to make decisions about your medical care if you become unable to make those decisions yourself. Your healthcare agent should be an adult, and can be a family member or a close friend whom you trust to make serious decisions. The person you name as your healthcare agent should clearly understand your wishes and be willing to accept the responsibility of making medical decisions for you. It's important to note that an idividual who works at the facility where a patient resides cannot be a healthcare agent, unless they are a family member.(A healthcare agent may also be called a “surrogate,” “attorney-in-fact,” or “proxy”.)
Can I add personal instructions to my Directive?
Yes. You can add personal instructions in the part of the document called “Other directions.”
Can I change my mind?
You may revoke your Pennsylvania Directive at any time. Your revocation becomes effective when you, or a witness to your revocation, notify your doctor or other healthcare provider. Once your doctor is notified, he or she must then make the revocation a part of your medical record.
4 Decisions to consider...
1. Whether or not to have artificail nutrician/hydration.
2. Whether or not to be hospitalized from home/nursing home.
3. Whether to change treatment goals from curative to comfort.
4. Whether or not to have CPR or a DNR (Do not resuscitate) order.
How Do I make my Pennsylvania Directive legal?
In order to make your directive legally binding, you must sign and date it, or direct another to sign it, in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign the document to show that you knowingly and voluntarily signed the document. Both of your witnesses must be 18 years or older and, if you are unable to sign your Directive, neither witness can be the person who signed the Directive on your behalf. You do not need to notarize your Pennsylvania Directive.
What other important facts should I know?
Your directive goes into effect when a copy is provided to your physician and your attending physician determines that a healthcare provider has documented that despite being provided appropriate medical information, communication supports and technical assistance, you are unable to understand the potential material benefits, risks and alternatives involved in a specific proposed healthcare decision, you are unable to make that healthcare decision on your own behalf, and you are unable to communicate that healthcare decision to any other person; and you are determined to be in a an end-stage medical condition or permanently unconscious. Your attending physician must promptly certify in writing that you have an end-stage medical condition or are permanently unconscious.
The best gift we can give our family and loved ones can be the gift of making our own wishes known.
Proclaimed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, Grandparents Day is a holiday to recognize "the importance and worth of the 17 million grandparents in our nation." In that original proclamation, Carter wrote that because grandparents "are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young without having to take daily responsibility for them, they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations." Over 30 years later, there are now more than 70 million grandparents in our nation.
On September 12, 2010, Grandparents Day will reach its 31st anniversary and celebrate the role that grandparents play in children’s lives. According to AARP, 4.5 million children are being raised in households headed by grandparents. As Carter wrote, "Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us."
For our nation’s children and millions of others, grandparents create special relationships and impart lessons that last a lifetime. Make sure you take some time this weekend to celebrate the grandparents in your life!
"What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies." -Rudolph Giuliani
"My great grandfather used to say to his wife, my great-grandmother, who in turn told her daughter, my grandmother, who repeated it to her daughter, my mother, who used to remind her daughter, my own sister, that to talk well and eloquently was a very great art, but that an equally great one was to know the right moment to stop." –Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"My Grandmother would say, ‘Make sure you look good. Make sure you speak well. Make sure you remain that Southern gentleman that I’ve taught you to be.'" –Jamie Foxx
Are you planning any special activities with your grandparents or your children's grandparents? Feel free to share below in our comment section. We also want to hear your favorite memories of your grandparents!
Caring for a loved one at home who has Alzheimer’s or dementia can be a daunting task. It is important to find meaningful activities for both of you to participate in. Having a plan for getting through the day can help both caregivers and patients cope. Here are some helpful activities to utilize throughout the day:
1- Go for a walk
2- Listen to music
3 Read a book out loud
4- Make an ice cream sundae
5- Clean out the refrigerator
6- Play cards
7- Watch a movie
8- Fold the laundry
9- Clip coupons
10- Dust the house
11- Color pictures
12- Write a letter to a family member
13- Have a friend bring a pet
14- Play a board game
15- Organize a closet
16- Look through old photo albums
17- Sing old songs
18- Read a news paper
19- Put a puzzle together
20- Talk about favorite memories
21- Create a family tree
22- Water house plants
23- Wash dishes
24- Pick flowers
25- Create a meal menu for the week
26- Make a craft
27- Take a ride together
28- Toss a ball
29- Bake cookies
30- Make a shopping list
31- Have afternoon tea
32- Sit on the porch and people watch
33- Brush a pet
34- Plant a flower
35- Make brownies
36- Feed the birds
38- Have a picnic
39- Give a manicure
40- Give a hand massage
41- Feed ducks
42- Make a peanut butter sandwich
43- Make a favorite meal
44- Count coins
45- Cut pictures from magazines
47- Give each other a makeover
48- Go through old greeting cards
49- Go to the park
50- Organize the sock drawer
Do you have any creative ideas to add? Please post them in our comments section below.
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