February 21, 2024
Shari Eady, LMSW and Edna Breshers, RN

Only you can be the judge of that. We invite you to continue reading as we provide the necessary information for you to make an informed decision.

An Advance Directive is a document that outlines a patient’s wishes should they not be able to make medical/financial decisions for themselves. This can occur if a patient develops a disorder affecting communication, becomes deathly ill, or develops a disease that impairs speech. Unfortunately, these situations are not planned and can happen at any time. Common advance directives are Living Wills, Living Trust, Medical Power of Attorney (POA), Financial Power of Attorney (POA), and a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.

~A Living Will is a written legal document that outlines how a person would like to be cared for upon finding themselves in a situation like the ones listed above.  Living wills determine medical treatments the patient wishes or does not wish to be used to be kept alive. 

~A Living Trust acts as a Living will, but instead outlines a person's financial wishes regarding their assets and property should they fall ill or die.

~A Medical Power of Attorney (POA) is a designated person by the patient who will make choices in the case of any medical emergencies or issues where the patient cannot make decisions for themselves. This designated person can be a friend, spouse, family member, or anyone the patient trusts. 

~A Financial Power of Attorney (POA) is a person designated by the patient who will make choices about the patient’s finances when the patient can no longer make decisions for themselves. This person can serve in dual roles as both the Medical (POA) and Financial (POA), or the patient can choose two separate people to occupy these roles.

~A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order informs staff the patient opts out of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and/or AED (automated external defibrillator/shock machine) should their heart stop or they stop breathing. A person may choose to sign a DNR if they know in advance, they do not want anyone to interfere with a natural death. Though healthy people can sign a DNR, it is often signed by those who are terminally ill or elderly and wish not to be on life support.

Hospice patients are usually referred by a hospital or their doctors. In some cases, our patients are not able to communicate their wishes and someone close to the patient will then be left to make decisions. This can serve as a challenge because those close to the patient may place personal feelings above those of the patient being cared for. Having this information on file with the hospital or the doctor’s office will allow Transitions Hospice Care to carry out your wishes. Your hospice workers are your advocates in making sure you get full autonomy if you are not able to communicate your wants and needs. And Transitions Hospice Care wants to honor your rights!

We are a small hospice provider located 3 hours south of Raleigh, North Carolina with Two (2) locations- one in Rome, GA and the other in Summerville, SC. We are here for you and to answer any questions you may have. Please reach out to one of our local branch offices at 706.378.2273 (GA) or 843.875.7915 (SC).