polst vs. advance directive

Taking care of your loved ones in the last stages of their life is no easy task. And while you’ll have to make some critical decisions on their behalf, it’s also essential to make sure their wishes are granted.

If you can’t decide between a POLST vs. advance directive, this guideline has the answers. Continue reading to learn more.

POLST vs. Advance Directive: What’s the Difference?

A POLST format is not an advanced guideline and can not be used in place of one. When appropriately used, advance directives and POLST forms are also valuable care plan preparation materials for expressing patient preferences.

An advance directive is a document that allows an individual to appoint a person or persons to make medical decisions on their behalf if they lose the ability to do so. This document is most known as a power of attorney.

A POLST doc also provides guidelines for making health-care decisions during critical times. Most of the instructions given are how to handle the individual during end-of-life circumstances. This is often referred to as a living will. Also, an advance directive is not a medical order but rather a request from the patient.

A POLST form, on the other hand, is a series of medical instructions that apply to a small group of patients and resolve a small number of important health decisions.

The form is meant to be used in conjunction with advance directives as a translational resource and guarantee treatment continuity.

Overall, both a POLST and an advance directive offer detail on treatment preferences, but they do so in various ways.

POLST vs. Advance Directive: The Differences Between Patient Wishes

It’s challenging to ensure that your elderly loved one has the correct end-of-life records. However, a living will is a document that you’ve probably heard most about. But a POLST is also an essential doc that many caregivers are unaware of.

A POLST is not the same as a living will, although each of them covers end-of-life expectations. A physician’s order is a POLST, while a living will is a legal text. Therefore, emergency medical technicians and ambulance staff can employ them in diverse manners.

To ensure that their end-of-life interests are secured in all circumstances, some seniors opt to have a POLST and a living will.

A POLST is a one-page document that only considers urgent care options. Since it’s a legal prescription signed by a physician, it’s better for health emergencies. This ensures that EMTs and medical facilities must follow the POLST’s instructions.

It’s typically reserved for terminally ill or elderly seniors who have expressed their end-of-life desires.

On the other hand, a living will tell EMTs or hospitals what to do since it isn’t a medical order. And if resuscitation options are requested, they will not be carried out.

Unless a doctor’s directives state otherwise, conventional emergency medical procedures must be adhered to. In non-emergency cases, living wills are the best option.

View here for more info about planning for your loved one’s future.

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