With Flu Season Approaching, Put Advance Directives In Place Now
After long months of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers have enjoyed a few months with lower case counts. However, as the season quickly changes to fall, there is concern over a resurgence. This is in addition to the usual hazards posed by the flu. To protect yourself and those you love, now is the time to ensure you have advance directives, an important type of estate planning documents, in place.
What Are Advance Directives and Why Are They Important?
COVID-19 continues to raise alarm among doctors and public safety experts. A resurgence in the fall could coincide with the usual flu season, which traditionally raises a serious health threat. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a typical flu season prompts more than 18,000,000 people to visit their family doctors and results in more than 400,000 hospitalizations. As a respiratory illness, it presents symptoms similar to COVID-19, which include high fevers, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and excessive coughing, all of which can put your long term health in serious jeopardy.
Getting a flu shot now is a good way to reduce your risks, as is continuing to wear a mask, handwashing frequently, and following social distancing guidelines. Putting advance directives in place is an additional precaution you can take to help ensure you and your loved ones are protected. These are legal documents that inform medical providers of your wishes regarding your care and treatment in the event you are incapacitated and unable to convey them on your own. Benefits of advance directives include:
- Ensures you get the level of care you desire;
- Prevents loved ones from having to guess what you would have wanted;
- Keeps them from being put in the position of having to take responsibility in making life-impacting decisions on your behalf during what is undeniably an already emotional and difficult time.
What Advance Planning Documents Do I Need?
As experienced estate planning attorneys, we can help ensure you have the proper advance planning documents in place, as well as other important items such as a will or trust. The New York Department of Health recommends all residents have the following:
- Health Care Proxy: This allows someone you designate in advance to make important health care decisions on your behalf.
- Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST): This conveys your wishes regarding feeding tubes, dialysis, ventilators, and other life-sustaining treatments.
- Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order: This instructs medical providers responders regarding your wishes to have a natural death, rather than being artificially resuscitated.
Let Us Help You Today
As estate planning documents, advance directives help to convey your wishes and protect your loved ones. It is particularly important to create these now, with the ongoing pandemic and the coming flu season. At Cavallo & Cavallo, we can help ensure you have the proper documents in place. Call or contact our Bronx & Westchester estate planning attorneys to request a consultation in our office today.