But once in a while, something clicks. Something applies to them. So let me inaugurate this blog with something most people associate with aging, but probably shouldn't exclusively.
That hyperlink I placed right above this sentence? Go ahead, click it. I promise it won't mess up your new iPhone. What it will do, though, is potentially improve your experience as a hospital patient. I say this not exclusively as a geriatric care manager, but also as a hospital employee. It's a standard healthcare proxy form for New York State residents, provided by the NYS Department of Health, and it's something you should fill out now. Literally, now.
If you lose the capacity to make medical decisions for yourself, you can use this form to appoint another person to make them for you. The trick is, you won't be able to fill this form out after you've lost that capacity, which is obviously a tough thing to predict.
Ideally, the person you designate is someone you trust, to whom you've made your general medical wishes known. Short of that, it should be someone who knows you as a person, and has a sense of what your values are.
The file itself has an excellent FAQ, so I won't go overboard with more information, but please know the following before you decide to click away and check basketball scores:
- You don't need a lawyer for this;
- It's free;
- It doubles as an organ donation directive;
Take 10 minutes. Fill this out. Get two witnesses to sign it. Give a copy to the people you've designated. That's it. Done. Go back to your regularly scheduled programming.
I'll take some time in other blog posts to cover items I feel are applicable to people of all ages. This one deserved my first post, though. I hope you'll agree.