Caregivers for an elderly parent infected with COVID-19 should consider that the disease and its treatments may restrict the patient’s ability to speak or otherwise legally make decisions on their own. Preparation is urgent.
According to medical professionals, other underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung disease, may also increase risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19:
- Old age
- Lung Problems
- Heart Disease
- Blood Disorders
- Weakened Immune System
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
If you are a caregiver for someone diagnosed with coronavirus, it is important to be legally prepared to avoid further health and financial burdens for both you and your loved one.
It is vitally important to establish yourself as the medical decision maker and to legally document their wishes.
Some patients may have intentions to be kept alive as long as possible, while others may seek quality-of-life and comfort. Advance directive forms dictate not only the specific care providers and intentions, but also who can make decisions on behalf of the patient if they become unable to speak for themselves. The decision maker could approve the use of medical interventions such as CPR or other resuscitation techniques, breathing machine or ventilator, dialysis, feeding tube, blood transfusions, surgery, and medicines.
End-of-life decisions are also dictated through these documents. The medical decision maker can dictate whether the patient stays in the hospital or are transferred home, can request an autopsy, donate organs, and follow pre-determined plans for burial or cremation.
While hospitalized, their affairs at home still require management.
A safe plan also has to be established to manage the patient’s personal property and finances while hospitalized. This may include bill payments, taking care of other family members, and taking care of pets.
How we can help:
- We can inform you of the legal options specific to your situation.
- If they do not have an updated Last Will and Testament, we can prepare or update an existing will.
- We can document their wishes in a South Carolina Advance Healthcare Directive, called a Living Will.
- We can establish a Health Care Power of Attorney (Healthcare Proxy) for their medical decision maker.
- If necessary, create a HIPAA Release (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
- We can provide you with a Durable Power of Attorney as the medical decision maker.
Timely completion of these documents is of the utmost importance as COVID-19 and treatment may restrict their ability to speak or otherwise legally make decisions on their own.
We have streamlined the process to prepare the necessary paperwork through a series of simple online questionnaires.
In most cases we can review the documents and complete the process WITHOUT REQUIRING AN OFFICE VISIT. Access is provided to download and print your documents, including instruction on scanning/photographing your signatures for us to witness and complete the process.