Advanced Directive

An Advance Directive sometimes known as a Living Will, allows a person to document anything that is important to them while they are able to do so. It can be used by anyone who may need care in the future when they are no longer able to express their needs.

It can include information on the following:

  • Where they would ideally like to be cared for e.g. home, care home or hospice.
  • Dietary requirements, likes and dislikes.
  • Preferences such as a bath or a shower.
  • Clothes they prefer to wear.
  • Styles of music or TV they like.
  • Sleep routines, if they like to sleep with a light on. What time they like to go to bed and get up.
  • Religion, spiritual needs and values.
  • Who should be consulted about care needs.
  • Who is important to them and who they would like to visit.
  • What would happen to their pets.

This information should be kept with personal documents and added to GP or care records.

If the person changes their mind about any aspect of the advanced directive it can be changed as long as any changes are signed off  and dated by the person themselves while they still have capacity to make decisions. In Scottish law, advanced directives are not legally binding but as they represent the persons wishes, they should be taken into account as and when required.

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