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Advance Care Planning

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Your Affairs in Order

Who should you choose to be your healthcare proxy?

If you decide to choose a proxy, think about people you know who share your views and values about life and medical decisions. Your proxy might be a family member, a friend, your lawyer, or someone with whom you worship. Learn more about selecting a healthcare proxy.Older couple filling out paperwork like advance directives and wills

My aging parents can no longer make their own healthcare decisions. How do I decide what type of care is right for them?

It can be overwhelming to be asked to make healthcare decisions for someone who is no longer able to make his or her own decisions. Get a better understanding of how to make healthcare decisions for a loved one, including approaches you can take, issues you might face, and questions you can ask to help you prepare.

How do you help someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia get their affairs in order?

A complication of diseases such as Alzheimer’s is that the person may lack or gradually lose the ability to think clearly. This change affects his or her ability to participate meaningfully in decision making and makes early planning even more important. Read these legal and financial planning tips for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

I am considering becoming an organ donor. Is the process different for older adults?

There are many resources for older organ donors and recipients available from the U.S. government. Find information for potential donors and transplant recipients over age 50, including how to register to be a donor.

I want to make sure my affairs are in order before I die, but I’m not sure where to begin.

The National Institute on Aging has free publications that can help you and your loved ones discuss key issues at the end of life, including finding hospice care, what happens at the time of death, managing grief, preparing advance directives, and other information.