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Prepare for Future Health Needs with Advance Directive

Farmington Hills, Mich. (November 8, 2010)---With November being National Hospice Palliative Care Month, it is a good time to think about your future health needs and what will happen if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. While we all hope we have many years to think about such things, the reality is that serious illnesses or accidents can happen at any time. 
 
Advance directives are documents that allow you to provide instructions for your health care in case you are not able to communicate to your medical provider. Advance directives also include a medical power of attorney that designates an individual to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so. 
 
Annette Carron, D.O., Botsford Hospital’s Geriatrics Program Director and Medical Director of the Botsford Senior Assessment Center at the Botsford Commons Senior Community, says, “The medical power of attorney should be someone who can uphold your wishes. The person must be strong enough to make tough decisions that you would have chosen for yourself if you were able.” 
 
Carron continues, “Everyone over 18 should have an advance directive and share their wishes with their medical power of attorney. You should also communicate your wishes with your health care provider, provide them with a copy of your advance directive and keep a copy for yourself.” 
 
Many resources are available online to provide assistance to individuals and their families. Dawn Doyle, BA, LBSW, Social Service Coordinator at the Botsford Commons Senior Community, created a Web site, www.constantjourney.org to help seniors and their families looking for choices and information through education, practical assistance and community resources. Doyle says, “Sometimes people are overwhelmed by all the information provided when they are going through a health crisis. Online resources can be great tools to help people prepare for future needs.” 
 
Dr. Carron also recommends the following resources when working on your advance directive: 
www.fivewishes.org 
www.michbar.org/elderlaw/adpamphlet.cfm 
www.getpalliativecare.org 
Botsford Hospital’s admitting office has advance directive forms available by calling (248) 471-8493. Forms are also available through Botsford’s patient rights office at (248) 471-8696.

ABOUT BEAUMONT HEALTH
Beaumont Health is Michigan's largest health care system, based on inpatient admissions and net patient revenue. A not-for-profit organization, it was formed in 2014 by Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare to provide patients with the benefit of greater access to extraordinary, compassionate care, no matter where they live in Southeast Michigan. Beaumont Health consists of eight hospitals with 3,337 beds, 168 outpatient sites, nearly 5,000 physicians and 35,000 employees and about 3,500 volunteers. In 2015, the organization had $4.1 billion in net revenue with 177,934 inpatient admissions, 17,151 births and 530,860 emergency visits. For more information, visit beaumont.org.

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