Steps For Your Future Care Plan
At Nurse Professionals Home Care, we recognize the difficulties with planning your future care. These are tough conversations about your values, and how you would like to be treated should unfortunate circumstances arise. However, we have seen time and again the necessity to have a precise plan set up should it be needed. We believe firmly that it is better to have prepared these documents and not need them then to need them and not have them. This article provides a summary of steps you should take in order to be better prepared for your future, as well as worksheets and related articles that you might find useful.
The first step to planning for your future care is talking with your doctor or nurse practitioner about your current medical situation and what you can expect in the future. This conversation may include other professionals such as physician assistants, nurses, social workers, and chaplains or other religious leaders. Following these conversations you should talk with your family, close friends, and anyone else whom you are close with to help you decide what medical treatments you do and do not want.
The form used as a basis for your treatment plans is called the “Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” (or MOLST for short). This form makes your preferences for treatment known to your health care professionals. There are many sections to the form, however only completed sections indicate your decisions you’ve made regarding your treatment preferences. The Maryland MOLST form can be found HERE.
The other primary document involved in your future care plan is called the “Advance Healthcare Directive”, also known as a Living Will. It is a legal document expressing what specific actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity. This document can also specify who you would like making medical decisions on your behalf, such as another family member or close friend.
We at Nurse Professionals Home Care recommend updating these documents periodically, as your health and therefore your circumstances will change over time. As a rule of thumb, those moving to the Berlin or Ocean City areas for retirement should update these documents once they get settled in.