Accredited Hospices of America in Sugar Land wants to help you plan for hospice care. All patients should be able to express their desires and understand their own care options. By using advance directives, you can ensure that your wishes are honored.
Power of Attorney (POA)
A power of attorney document gives authority over a patient’s money and property to someone 18 years of age or older. This notarized document becomes ineffective at the time of death.
Accredited Hospices of America encourages you to speak with everyone involved in your care about how you wish to be cared for should you fall seriously ill. This directive helps family members as well, who will no longer suffer making choices about your without having sufficient information. This document gives family members and caregivers answers to these questions:
- What kind of medical care you want or not want?
- Who do you want to make health care decisions for you once you can’t?
- How do you want people to treat you?
- How comfortable do you want to be?
- What you want your loved ones to know?
The following list includes legal documents you should be aware of before and after deciding to use hospice care. You should seek a legal counsel to help you with some of these documents.
Medical Durable Power of Attorney (MDPOA)
This signed document gives authority to someone18 years of age or older. It enables them to make medical treatment and health care decisions if you become incapacitated. This document does not need to be witnessed or notarized and it does not need to be completed by an attorney.
Texas Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive
This document states that no one can perform CPR on you, even if you need it. You and your doctor both need to sign this document.
Proxy Decision Maker
This gives an appointed individual the ability to make health care decisions when a MDPOA has not been identified. Family members and interested persons should mutually agree upon who to appoint.
Durable Power of Attorney
This is a notarized document that gives the designated POA permission to continue authority in making decisions regarding your money or property if you become incapacitated, disabled, or incompetent. This document ceases to be effective at the time of your death. Please note that you also need to complete a form with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The following type of statement must be included in the POA document: “The power of attorney continues to be in effect even if I become disabled, incapacitated, or incompetent.“
A Living Will, signed by the patient, gives the doctor instructions regarding the use of artificial life support if the patient becomes terminally ill and is unable to make medical decisions for themselves.
In Texas, Living Wills may also stop the use of feeding tubes and other forms of artificial nourishment ONLY IF the Living Will clearly gives this instruction and the patient is terminally ill. If the patient can swallow food or fluids, the Living Will will allow the patient to continue being fed. The Living Will must be signed by two witnesses and doesn’t need notarization.
Neither witness can be associated with Accredited Hospices of America in any way, or be a physician, an employee of his/her primary physician, or persons who may inherit any of the patient’s money or property. To obtain a Living Will form and other information regarding Living Wills, see a doctor, lawyer, health care facility, other health organization or an office supply store.