Long-Term Care

Frequently Asked Questions

22. What if something happens to me and I can't talk with a health care provider to make my wishes known?

Planning ahead can ensure that your wishes for medical care in an emergency and at the end of life are expressed. If you haven't already, you should create certain legal documents, often referred to as advance directives.

Health care power of attorney -- This document names the person who will make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.

Living will -- This document records your wishes for medical treatment near the end of life. It spells out what life-sustaining treatment you do or do not want if you are terminally ill, permanently unconscious, or in the final stage of a fatal illness.

Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, if desired --This document tells health care providers not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or other life-support procedures if your heart stops or if you stop breathing.