Do you want to ensure that your wishes and beliefs are upheld in your medical care? Advance health care directives instruct others about your wishes concerning medical treatment, should you become unable to communicate them yourself.
Documenting your plans can give you greater peace of mind and make decisions easier for your loved ones in potentially stressful situations. Here are some steps that will help you create these important documents.
Learn the Importance of Advance Health Care Directives:
- Have your wishes and beliefs honored. It’s natural to feel uncomfortable thinking about physical incapacity and death, but it’s comforting to know that you can exercise some control. You’ll feel more secure if you take every possible step to ensure that the medical care you receive is consistent with your personal values and beliefs.
- Relieve your loved ones of unnecessary burdens. It’s difficult for your loved ones to know what you want unless you talk with them in advance. You may be able to help them stay calm and united.
- Help professional caregivers help you. Doctors and nurses have demanding jobs. Make it easier for them to provide you with the best care even if that means referring you to a provider who better serves your needs.
Master the Basic Terminology:
- Consider creating a durable power of attorney. This advance directive lets you appoint another person who becomes your agent for making medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated. It’s sometimes also called a medical power of attorney. This power extends to all medical decisions unless you specify additional conditions.
- Understand the limits of living wills. Living wills express your desires regarding life-sustaining or life-prolonging medical treatment. Practically speaking, their effectiveness is very limited, compared to a durable power of attorney.
- Decide on Do Not Resuscitate Orders. One more directive is worth mentioning: Do Not Resuscitate Orders. These provide instructions to medical personnel if you wish to decline life-prolonging measures under certain circumstances.
Create and Use Advance Health Care Directives:
- Select a health care agent. Your health care agent can be your spouse or another close family member or friend. An agent may also be called a surrogate or attorney-in-fact. In any case, select someone you trust with such a serious responsibility.
- Get the correct forms. Getting forms is easy. Facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments are required to provide you with written information. You can also obtain forms at local hospitals, community agencies, medical societies, geriatric care managers, and from many individual attorneys and physicians.
- Follow state laws. Every state recognizes advance directives, but requirements vary by state. You may want to seek legal advice to ensure you comply with requirements such as notarization and witness signatures.
- Distribute copies to key individuals. Your advance directive is more likely to be enforced if you give copies to all the key individuals involved. These include your family, your primary care physician, and hospital personnel. Of course, you need to discuss the final document with your agent and give them a copy. You may also want to deposit copies with your attorney and keep one in your safe deposit box.
- Talk with your doctor and family. Your doctor can help you understand medical implications and terminology to clarify your directive. Most of all, talk with your family about these sensitive issues.
- Keep your directive updated. It’s a good idea to review your directive regularly to ensure it’s compatible with your current life circumstances. Experts recommend that everyone 18 or over-prepare a directive, so a lot can change over the years.
Advance health care directives can be simple to draft, but involve many complex issues. Get the guidance you need from medical and legal experts so you and your family will be prepared even in difficult circumstances.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health, your environment, and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them), and can even help you with detoxification. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.
For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight, and is a great way to detox your body!
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
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Last updated on April 4th, 2023 at 01:18 pm
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