We are going to address things you are NOT hearing about regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus. I am not going to repeat what you are hearing and seeing everywhere.
Please see my section on “Necessary Documents”. Right now, I want to address the AMD – Advanced Medical Directive, aka Living Will. The specific area I want to address regarding COVID-19 is the life support section. I have thought about and seen so many different desires here.
COVID-19 is putting more people on life support, for longer periods of time. The “normal” conditions under which people are put on life support for COVID-19 are very different. There is a section of the population that contracts COVID-19 that do not have a chance without life support. After being on life support, some recover very well, some recover with manageable conditions, others need amputations and organ transplants to survive, and then there are those that do not survive.
Previous to Coronavirus, life support was used differently. The outcome of most patients was able to be determined within a range rather than the outcome of a patient being unknown. Medical professionals are getting better at determining outcomes of Coronavirus patients, but still there are many unknowns.
I have my personal desires and non-desires regarding life support, as does each person. It is critical you think about your desires and make sure you and your AMD agent talk about this. I am eternally grateful that my loved ones that I have had to act on their behalf, have made sure I knew what they wanted and did not want. I have had to re-think my desires and non-desires regarding Covid-19 as opposed to “normal” life support circumstances.
When I speak on caregiving, we talk about your AMD agents knowing what you truly want and don’t want. I suggest opening this conversation with your adult children by giving them the option of talking about your wishes or you will tell them all about the night they were conceived!
You will need to have a backup AMD agent that does not live in your home with you, due to the contagious nature of Coronavirus.
Having this document is more important than ever with Coronavirus. Also, since you cannot be in the hospital with your loved one, having it official on paper who the medical professionals are allowed to talk with and take directions from is critical.