What Do I Need to Make Healthcare Decisions for an Elderly Loved One in New Jersey?

If you live in the State of New Jersey and are in need of making healthcare decisions for an elderly loved one, you will need to obtain an advance directive.

This is legal documentation that your loved one is capable of completing on their own that will outline the preferences that they have for medical treatments in the event that they are unable to make their own healthcare decisions.

New Jersey has two types. The first is referred to as a “proxy directive” and the second is identified as an “instruction directive”. A person is free to choose one over the other or to have both in place.

What Is a Proxy Directive?

A proxy directive is also referred to legally as a “Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare”. It is a document that appoints a specific person to make any and all healthcare decisions in the event that you are unable to make those choices yourself.

If your elderly loved one requires assistance, they will need to complete this document. It goes into effect in the case of temporary issues such as accidents or permanent issues such as diseases. The person they will appoint will be identified as the “healthcare representative”.

What Is an Instruction Directive?

Another option your elderly loved one may choose to go with is an instruction directive, which is also identified as a “Living Will”.

Your loved one will fill this out to inform family members and doctors about the situations in which life-sustaining treatments may or may not be issued if they are unable to speak for themselves when the need for such treatments arise.

It also allows your elderly loved one to outline what they value, their unique beliefs, and their preferences for general care and/or the treatments that they receive.

Should My Elderly Loved One Have Both a Proxy Directive and an Instruction Directive?

Yes, it is best for your elderly loved one to have both the Durable Power of Attorney and the Living Will. This will ensure that a person has been legally named to make healthcare decisions and that their preferences are specifically outlined.

If both are in place, the legal aspects of making decisions is much easier and everything will run much smoother. 

When Does an Advance Directive Go into Effect?

When your elderly has an advance directive in place, it will only go into effect if an evaluating doctor has determined that they are unable to completely understand their diagnosis.

Additionally, the doctor determines that the treatment options or the advantages and/or disadvantages of the treatment is not understood.

In these instances, the designated healthcare representative will be legally required to determine the healthcare treatments to be pursued under the direction of medical professionals.

For More Assistance

If you are in the process of helping an elderly loved one set up an advance directive or would like assistance with other types of related matter, contact us here at Beacon Senior Advisors today by calling: 973-713-0096





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