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When speaking with a client or to a group about basic planning for seniors I always recommend that Georgia residents complete and sign an Advance Directive for Health Care.  The benefits of completing an Advance Directive are obvious, it is quick, inexpensive, and it allows you to ensure that the person that you prefer is authorized to make important medical decisions for you.  However, the process of ensuring that your agent is authorized and prepared to make decisions on your behalf does not end when you sign the document.  You must also take steps to make sure that either your agent or your health care provider or both will have a copy of the Advance Directive in their hands when an important decision needs to be made and you are not able.  I advise my clients to give a copy of the document to their agent and also to make sure that their agent knows how to access the original.  I also advise my clients to provide a copy of their Advance Directive to their physician(s) and any other health care providers so they will have it on file.

I wanted to share an interesting article I found on this topic on the “New Old Age Blog” from the New York Times website.  The author speaks to a social worker about the frustration of having patients who took the time to plan and sign the appropriate documents but did not take steps to make sure that the documents would be available when needed.

To read the full article please click the link below:

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/wheres-that-advance-care-directive/