As people in our lives age, unfortunately, they may lose the ability to do many of the things that they once took for granted, such as grabbing the keys and driving over to the store on their own.  Having the conversation about taking away the keys is often a very difficult one to have.  As the caregivers for our aging relatives, there are many uncomfortable conversations we will most likely have to have at some point.  One of these conversations will likely be in regards to putting power of attorney in place before it’s too late.  No one wants to sound morbid or think about their mortality in these terms necessarily but when you think about the other option, having this conversation and taking the necessary steps to put this precaution in place can and will save a lot of time and minimize stress if and when the time to actually invoke it arises.the importance of obtaining power of attorney before it's too late Let’s talk about the different types of documents you, as the individual in question, may want to have in place in case the need arises.  First there is an advanced health care directive. This document allows the person of your choice to carry out all directives that you have put in place in terms of medical interventions.  Then there is a financial power of attorney, which is exactly what it sounds like.  A person of your choosing has access to your funds and can act on your behalf in matters relating to finances.  They can pay your bills if you are unable to, for example.  Finally, you will want to have a HIPAA release form signed and in place.  This is important so that your medical team can speak to the person you appoint about your condition, treatment options, etc. Without these crucial documents set into motion by you, it can be very difficult for your loved ones to ensure you get the appropriate care – the care that you decided for yourself was what you wanted.  And speaking of ”what you wanted”, think about how important that is…the ability to decide for yourself what types of interventions you may or may not want.  This also takes a lot of stress off of your family.  Family members may live with guilt or fear of making a choice you would not have wanted when they are faced with a life-altering decision.  Take that potential for guilt and fear away by being an active participant in the planning process and letting your family know exactly what you want and how you want your care managed by them when the time comes. Use this website – http://www.naepc.org/membership/find_council – as a starting point to locate an estate planning council in your area.  They will refer you to an estate planner who can guide you in your decision making. Did you enjoy reading our blog? If so, please follow us on Facebook and Google + for regular updates where we’ll touch on subjects related to Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, care giving, healthy living, and more! TLC HomeCare Services delivers professional, non medical, in home care to seniors and those suffering from life altering diseases in South Jersey. Contact us fo