Here’s why you need a legal health care advocate
It is a sign of good planning, to choose someone as your advocate if you should ever need help with your health and personal care. It will ensure your wishes are carried out without causing strife in your family. Instead of handling this informally among your loved ones, create a legal document to make your choices clear.
It gives you peace of mind knowing that your health and comfort will be protected. Depending on where you live in Canada, these documents can be called powers of attorney, personal or health directives, representation agreements, or mandates.
This legal document will make another person, your substitute decision maker (SDM), with the authority to direct your health and non-financial matters. It should be one person, not your entire extended family. This is not meant to be a popularity contest, or to show preference. You are creating a supportive resource for yourself, so choose wisely, according to your needs.
Choose the person you feel is best suited: someone local, who can act promptly, who cares about you, and is naturally inclined to help. If you designate more than one person to fulfill this role, they all must be involved in every decision. This can potentially create a lot of conflict and stress for everyone involved.
You can legally specify that your SDM will make health and long-term care decisions only when a doctor or evaluator finds you mentally incapable of doing so. Of course, right now you are capable. So, this is the time to get prepared for the future.
Support your family by doing this advance planning and get it finalized. It avoids conflict by making your wishes clear. Call us to talk about who you might choose as your SDM.