What Is Incapacity?
Oxford Languages Defined as “physical or mental inability to do something or to manage one’s affairs.”
Common Reasons for Incapacity
- Physical illness or impairment like a stroke
- Mental illness or mood disorders.
- Substance abuse issues,
- Other cognitive, sensory, physical or degenerative impairment like Alzheimers
Why Incapacity Planning?
- Manage your biggest fears
- Fear protects you. Thus facing your biggest fears helps you to be proactive and have an emergency plan in charge that protects you and your loved ones
- Gives you peace of mind.
- Stay in control of your life.
- Ensure everything is done to get you back on track.
- Protect yourself against abuse or being taken advantage of.
- You set the framework for your life.
- You don’t rely on others.
- Not end in a care home or other institution where everyone has given up on you and people just wait for you to die.
Can You Prevent Incapacity?
Also preventing strokes and Alzheimer’s doesn’t seem to be medically possible yet, there are many little habits that enable you to reduce risks of getting diseases that can lead to impairment. You can manage a stroke risk by looking at several factors:
- A healthy lifestyle. This includes:
- Regular exercise
- Healthy diet low in sodium, sugar and animal fats but high in fiber
- Good medical care like regular medical checkups and taking your prescribed medications on a daily basis. This helps to ensure that your blood pressure is in line for example.
- Reduce Stress: Too much stress like too much responsibility can lead to severe health issues. The reason is that according to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation “Stress can cause the heart to work harder, increase blood pressure, and increase sugar and fat levels in the blood. These things, in turn, can increase the risk of clots forming and traveling to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.”
Areas that need to be managed for incapacity Planning in Florida
There are two main areas you want to address when doing your incapacity planning.
- Personal care
- Management of property
Documents Needed For Incapacity Planning – Personal Care
Incapacity planning usually results in getting important legal documents. But keep in mind: most of these documents are a result of a process that looks at some eventualities and your personal fears.
Did you know that according to the National Conference of State Legislatures many Americans do not receive the care they want at the end of their lives? This is why advance care planning helps people make decisions regarding future health care treatments should they lose the ability to express their wishes.
- Living wills,
- health care powers of attorney and
- Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms are advance care planning tools that can be used to express end-of-life care preferences.
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Living Wills or Advance Directive
An Advanced Directive is a legal document. You use it for your wishes for how you would like to be cared for during incapacity. This included what kind of medical treatments you would and would not want to be used to keep you alive, In addition, it can include directives regarding life-sustaining measures you would like to receive or have withheld (e.g. ventilator, feeding tube) if you become incapacitated.
In determining your wishes, think about your values like resilience, independence or faith. This might be much more helpful than trying to be a doctor and looking at specific medical conditions. Here are some super important questions to ask yourself:
- Would you want treatment to extend your life in any situation?
- Do you want to try a rehab program to recover?
- Would you want treatment only if a cure is possible?
Living Wills and Family
Make sure the people you trust can access your healthcare decision-making documents. This is why many people use cloud-based storage systems. In addition, consider talking to your loved ones about your incapacity plan. The reason is that it can prevent misunderstandings and disputes. Furthermore, give a copy to your doctor.
Health Care Power of Attorneys
A Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to name someone to act on your behalf. As a result, this trusted person can coordinate your medical care with your doctor in the event of your temporary or permanent incapacity. This prevents your family members or someone close asking the court for permission to act as your healthcare agent. As a result, there might be valuable time lost and unnecessary work and costs involved.
HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability of 1996) is a federal law.It protects the privacy of your medical information These privacy rules apply to all forms of individuals’ protected health information, whether electronic, written, or oral. As a result, you want to make sure to give your family members or healthcare agent an authorization to access your medical records. For example, this document helps them to talk to insurance providers, or inquire about prescriptions at the pharmacy.
Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Florida
In Florida, people add POLST forms to their other end-of-life planning forms. People who are seriously ill or frail find them very comforting. This is the reason why you should fill it out with your doctor. It is usually the result of a discussion you have with your doctor about the likely course of your illness and your treatment preferences.
Make sure that your POLST stays with you. No matter, if you go to a hospital or nursing home or you are already there, the document needs to be visible to emergency personnel or other medical team members.
According to the “Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy” in Miami the state of Florida does not require the use of a POLST form yet. Still, “The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment or POLST form has been adopted by the University of Miami Health System.” .
If you would like to access a POLST form for Florida, please click here.
Documents Needed For Incapacity Planning In Florida- Management of Property
When planning incapacity you want to enables others to manage your property. Typically, it is used so a person can step in when needed and pay your bills or handle other financial or real estate matters. Please read all details in our article “5 Things To Know About Power of Attorney Florida.”
A Word From Healthylifestyleflorida.com
Incapacity planning helps you to be prepared and gives you peace of mind. Reach out to people you love and trust to give you support when you really need it.