The Importance of Having An Advanced Directive for Health Care


You do not want to be in this situation.

Picture yourself approached by your loved one’s MD , following possibly,a major stroke, and while you are under duress ,  asking you if your loved has an advanced directive for health care. You respond “no”. Your doctor then asks you if you have ever had a conversation with your loved one about how they may want to direct their health care, again you respond “no”. Then it hits you, am I now the one who has to make all these decisions, life support, pull the plug, feeding tube, hydration??? What about the rest of the family? Are they going to agree with my decisions???

Here is a gift to give every one…a completed advanced directive for health care.

What is an Advanced Directive for Health Care, advanced directive for short?

An advanced directive for health care helps you get the care you want if you are ever unable to speak for yourself. It is something you can do now to protect your quality of life for the future and to protect those close to you from the emotional burden of having to make very difficult health care decisions for you without knowing what your wishes are.

It is recommended that anyone over the age of 18 create an advanced directive for healthcare as part of either their end-of-life planning or creating one as a precaution in case you’re injured or suddenly become ill and were not able to make decisions even for a short time.

You don’t need to have a lawyer involved to make a legal advanced directive. You can obtain one on a website or through a local hospital and once it is witnessed by two people who are not the agent(s) you choose or  have it notarized, it will become a legal document. It is also recommended that one reviews the advanced directives for healthcare should any major event occur in your life such as a death in the family , a divorce ,  new diagnosis, or a significant decline in your health.

It is recommended that you share copies of your advanced directive with your loved ones , your primary care physician , and the healthcare agent or agents that you chose receive copies.


Remember to carefully choose who you would want to represent your healthcare wishes. Someone that you feel will honestly represent what your wishes are. In this manner, it will ease the emotional burden of those who are dear to you by representing your chosen wishes rather than having to possibly second guess.

If you feel that you or a loved one could use some assistance with an Advanced Directive, please call Love Right Home Care and we can put you in contact with someone with the knowledge to help.  You may also contact us by e-mail and through our contact form through this website.

For information on an Advanced Directive contact us here:

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About the Author:

I am a practicing social worker for over 35 years, mostly in health care. Social work has been both rewarding and challenging. The profession has allowed me to work in areas such as trauma, oncology, orthopedics, intensive care, psychiatric , hospice, maternal child health and other fields. I have taught classes, mentored SDSU students, worked with most of the larger health care companies in San Diego and recently went back to school for a certificate in school social work.

Acknowledging the need for improved resources and accessibility for the elderly, I have recently joined a home care company providing quality caregivers to clients in need, most of them wanting to remain in their own home environment with adequate supports.

Clients have taught me so much over the years. I am as excited about my work today as I was when I started and look forward to many more professional years ahead.

MaryAnn Lentini, M.S.W., P.P.S.

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