Making Decisions using a Durable Medical Power of Attorney

When it's time to use your family member's durable medical power of attorney (MPOA), it can be tough to make the decisions you need to make.

How can you make good decisions when the stress is on? You need to use your heart and your mind to make the very best choices based on what your family member spelled out in his MPOA and what he has told you in past conversations.

Using your heart, you will respect what your family member has told you in the past about how he or she would want to live and under what circumstances if gravely ill. You will consult with other concerned family members to gather their thoughts, while knowing that your loved one has put his trust in you to make these tough choices when he cannot speak for himself.

Using your head, you will seek out the advice of doctors and other medical professionals. You will ask many questions to make sure you understand exactly what your family members condition and options are at this time.

Another tool you can use to help you make the difficult decisions is the book "The Caregiver's Path to Compassionate Decision Making" by Viki Kind.

Through "The Caregiver's Path", Kind introduces a decision making model that helps families navigate the decisions that a serious illness or end of life situation require.

Making the right decision is never easy when acting for a loved one. It's an awesome level of responsibility. "The Caregiver's Path" provides clear, easy to follow tools to help you make the best decision possible.

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