Five Legal Documents You Need for Your Parent in Senior Care

If you have a parent in senior care, you are preparing to enroll a parent in senior care services, then it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with several legal documents as part of your preparation. The legal documents we have outlined below are essential for anyone with a parent in senior care.

Advanced Directive

This is one of the most important items for your senior to have in order. Advanced directives are a collection of documents detailing specific instructions and preferences your senior has stated regarding medical treatments and comfort during their end of life care. Advanced directives are particularly important to establish in the event that your senior is unable to communicate later in life.

Living Will

Living wills are a specific and prominent part of an advanced directive. This is the document that outlines your senior’s wishes for their end of life care. A living will also serve to inform physicians and healthcare providers about your senior’s wishes if they are being carried out by a healthcare proxy (view more information about healthcare proxies below).

DNR & DNI

DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate) and DNIs (Do Not Intubate) are sensitive topics, but they are two incredibly important documents. They define your senior’s preferences in regard to resuscitation and intubation, which are both used to save and maintain life. A DNR order states that your senior does not want CPR, chest compressions, or the use of a defibrillator to keep them alive. A DNI order states that your senior does not want a breathing tube inserted to keep them alive.

Power of Attorney

Your senior can put two types of power of attorney in place: durable and healthcare/healthcare proxy. First, a durable power of attorney allows another person the legal right to oversee all matters on behalf of another person, including matters related to real estate, finance, banking, government benefits, and medical. Second, your senior can appoint a healthcare power of attorney, or a healthcare proxy, to make sure their end of life care wishes are honored if they cannot speak for themselves.

Will and/or Trust

These are two different legal documents that pertain to the disposition of property and possessions. To establish a will or a trust, we recommend that your senior consult with an attorney.

If you would like further help understanding these documents or enrolling your senior into senior care services, please call Home Care Assistance to schedule your consultation!