New York State law has many ways that Caregivers can manage business, personal, and medical care for the person that has the disability.  Planning ahead and talking to others about how to manage your health if you were not able to make decisions for yourself is important.  These plans should be written down in the form of an advance directive so others will know and honor your wishes.  Advance directives include a health care proxy, living will, and do not resuscitate order.

If you want to know more about advance care planning or need help filling out a Health Care Proxy or Living Will, call the NY Connects/Genesee County Office for the Aging at 585-343-1611.  Trained staff members are available to help you work through the process. 

POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA) – This is a legal paper for a person (the “principal”) to choose someone to act as their “agent”.  The agent may then take care of legal or financial business for the principal. 

HEALTH CARE PROXY (HCP)-This is a legal paper for a person (the “patient”) to choose someone to act as their health care decision maker (the “proxy”).  This proxy will be used when the patient is not able to make health care choices. 

LIVING WILL- This is a statement that a person can use to say that they do not want to have certain extreme measures taken to help them live longer.  Living Wills are not viewed as legal papers in New York State.  They are a guide for the patient’s doctor, or as instructions for the person serving as the patient’s health care proxy.  

DO NOT RESUSCITATE (DNR) ORDER- This is a paper signed by a doctor that orders other medical providers not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if the patient’s heart stops beating or they have stopped breathing.  Medical staff are required to attempt CPR unless there is a DNR order in place. 

The Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, and Living Will all require signed, properly witnessed forms.  The Do Not Resuscitate order must be signed by a licensed doctor.

If you want to know more about any of these papers, talk to your lawyer and your doctor.   NY Connects Genesee Care Options is here to help you figure out what you need and find providers that can help meet your needs.  We want to make this process as easy as possible for you.  Go to Quick Reference Guide section or our website’s Resource Directory for further information. 

When you just don’t know what to do or where to turn, call NY Connects Genesee Care Options/Office for the Aging at (585) 343-1611 for help.