Elder law focuses on planning for the rising costs of long term care. Such planning includes asset protection strategies to ensure that the senior has access to nursing home Medicaid and Veterans Pension benefits. This planning is usually completed through estate planning with updated wills and the use of trusts. This helps the senior qualify for benefits that protect their assets from being exhausted by an increase need for medical care.
Another equally important part of the planning is communication desires for medical treatment at the end of life. The Georgia Advanced Directive for Healthcare enables an individual; to select whom they wish to make end of life medical decisions for them and describe the scope of those decisions. The advanced directive can name up to two agents, one primary and a backup, that will have the power to communicate with the medical professionals if the individual is not able to communicate for themselves. The advanced directive also allows an individual to designate the type of medical treatment they desire to receive. This level of treatment can range for providing that the individual wants all measures to be taken to extend their life to refusing any measure that can prolong life, but not cure the underlying condition. The decisions can also be tailored to only accept certain treatments, such as feeding tubes, respirator, CPR, and other treatments.
Along with allowing selected individual to make decisions for care, the advanced directive provides comfort to friends and family members who are tasked with the difficult decisions around end of life care. With documented decisions of care, the worry and guilt around end of life decisions is relieved. This is one of the best gifts that can be given to friends and family members. While the Georgia Advanced Directive for Healthcare is a form provided under Georgia law, it is advisable to obtain the advice of an attorney in ensure that the document is effective.