Planning for end-of-life care involves important and sensitive decisions, which mindful persons have to make, especially when approaching the life expectancy age. As a senior citizen aged 65 years, I would adopt an advanced plan of care in the preparation of the health complications coming with old age. Bartley et al. (2018) posit that an important step in advanced planning is the determination of who should speak and make healthcare decisions on one’s behalf in case of incapacitation. The healthcare proxy option makes more sense than the Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney from a personal perspective. It would be easier to make my healthcare needs and expectations better known.
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A healthcare proxy is a legal document in which patients, often the elderly, appoint a preferred agent to make healthcare decisions should the patient become incapacitated. The selected proxy operates within the proxy terms, which might include statements on preferred healthcare facilities and approaches to end-of-life care (Bartley et al., 2018). The healthcare proxy option is a better preference because it guarantees some degree of comfort, as the patient builds confidence and trust in the agent’s ability to make the most appropriate decision. The patient has time to establish a rapport with the proxy before a medical crisis strikes. Hence, a healthcare proxy means that the selected representative is better placed to make almost the same decision that the patient would make given a chance.
However, a healthcare proxy is not necessarily a guarantee of the best end-of-life experience. Close cooperation between the patient and the agent is required for the certainty of developing the necessary rapport. I would resort to informing and updating my agent about every medical decision I make for easy acquaintance with my pattern of choices and preferences. The agent will then be better placed to predict my decisions or choices if I am incapacitated.
Bartley, M. M., Suarez, L., Shafi, R. M., Baruth, J. M., Benarroch, A. J., & Lapid, M. I. (2018). Dementia care at the end of life: Current approaches. Current Psychiatry Reports, 20(7), 50-60. Web.