Sadie Says …

Frequently asked questions about older adult issues

Q. What is an Advanced Directive?

A. Written documents that spell out your health care wishes are called Advance Directives.

Advanced Directive allows you to determine how you will be cared for by health care providers. The purpose is to inform your family, friends and providers how to be treated medically at the end-of-life.

Advance Directive documents include: Living Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney (POA) or Healthcare proxy; Mental Health Advance Directive.

Living Will spell out your instructions for medical treatment that you are willing to recive or refuse at your end-of-life.

A Healthcare Power Of Attorney agreement is a document that states you have selected an individual to make health-care decisions whenever you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

The Mental Health Advance Directive is a document where you state your choices for mental health and medical treatment in the event that mental illness makes you unable to make decisions.

There are also Physician Advance Directives which include: DNR and POLST.

• The Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order is a medical order written by an attending physician that states you do not want to be resuscitated, you forgo Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) if the your heart or breathing stops.

• The POLST (Physician-Order-for-Life-Sustaining Treatment) is a standardized order form containing physician orders that detail the scope of life-sustaining medical treatment that can be provided to you.

If you have questions about medical advance directives you can consult your physician. For other advance directives, we recommend you speak with family or an elderlaw attorney.

Further information about advanced directives can be obtained from these webpages:

Advance Directives: Definitions


Sadie Says is brought to you by the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition.


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