Home care in Indianapolis, IN

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  • Indianapolis, IN 46260

Advance Directives Options for Families

By: Sara McCord

When we meet with new families, we always ask if they have Advance Directives in place. Many times, the response back is “what are Advance Directives”?  I am not an expert on this topic, nor can I provide legal advice, but I do encourage families to educate themselves on the importance of Advance Directives.
So, what is an Advance Directive? Advance Directive is a term that refers to your spoken and written instructions about your future medical care and treatment. By stating your health care choices in an advance directive, you help your family and physician understand your wishes about your medical care. An advance directive may name a person to make health care choices for you when you cannot make the choices for yourself. You may also use an advance directive to prevent certain people from making health care decisions on your behalf.
Indiana recognizes the following types of Advance Directives:

  • Talking directly to your physician and family
  • Organ and tissue donation
  • Health care representative
  • Living Will Declaration of Life-Prolonging Procedures Declaration
  • Psychiatric advance directives
  • Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Declaration and Order
  • Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST)
  • Power of Attorney

The choice of advance directives depends on what you are trying to do, you may use them individually or together. Although an attorney is not required, you may find it helpful to speak with one before signing an advance directive. An attorney is often helpful in advising you on complex family matters and making sure your documents are done correctly under Indiana law.
For additional information on advance directives, visit the Indiana State Department of Health Advanced Directives Resource Center located at www.in.gov/isdh/25880.htm. The site includes links to state forms, links to Indiana statutes, and links to other helpful websites.