University of Houston Living

It is about writing the will

Obtain both living will and a power of attorney documents from your place of work, the Internet, or other source.

  • Complete both documents, including obtaining witness signature. (If a notary public is required by your State law, locate one and record the location and cost of service. You do not need to actually have it notarized for this course.) Texas does not require them to be notarized. (Upload copies of the paperwork under the appropriate assignment)
  • Discuss your advance directives with the person you would like to make healthcare decisions for you. If you have no one, discuss with a classmate or coworker.
  • Include a citation to the site where you retrieved your advance directive (if you obtained it online) or from your reading on advance directives. It does NOT have to be in APA format. Just explain where you obtained the form
  • For the discussion:
    • How difficult was it to find these forms?
    • Do you feel they are important for an older adult to have?
    • Would an older adult need help finding them? completing them?
    • Has this assignment made you change your opinion regarding advance directives 

Peer group

he advance directive and power of attorney were extremely easy to obtain. I just went to google search and a whole list of companies/sites providing this document came up. Most of the websites required you to pay a small fee or sign up for a 7 day trial, which I did and cancelled right after I received the documents. I currently work for a hospital and I know that you are able to get these same documents from the medical records department, if needed.

I feel it is extremely important that people have a living will and an advance directive. As we get older and aliments start to affect us we definitely need to consider who we want to make decisions for us when that time comes. From working in the hospital, I have seen people come into the emergency room unable to make decisions for themselves for whatever reason and when the family is asked who is making medical decisions no one knows or everyone wants to do it. This can cause friction in families. Everyone wants a say in want happens to their loved one. These documents basically keeps tension down and everyone informed.

An older adult who is unable to use a computer would definitely need help obtaining these documents. They would have to ask a relative or a healthcare provider how to obtain the documents. To complete the documents minimum help is needed. I think they were straight forward but there could be some verbiage like “irreversible conditions” or “”life-sustaining treatment” that could cause some confusion. An older adult may need some clarity on what theses terms really mean and how it may apply to their situation.

I haven’t physically seen an advance directive or power attorney until completing this assignment. When I had my daughter 4 years ago, my husband and I discussed completing a living will. We knew that we needed to document what our wishes were if anything were to happen to one or both of us. We had already discussed with our family who our daughter would go to if both of us were no longer here. We never really considered who would make medical decisions for us because we just assumed we would handle it for each other. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have an advance directive for our records. 


For the advance directive, I used the Texas form from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. The site is:

    • How difficult was it to find these forms?
  • It took me a few minutes to retrieve these documents. At first, I googled advance directives and living power of attorney documents and came across many websites that offered these documents along with a service to complete. There were other sites that appeared legitimate initially but proved otherwise upon inspection. I felt somewhat apprehensive filling out the forms because I had never heard of this organization before. I did some research and the organization appears valid.
    • Do you feel they are important for an older adult to have?
  • The advance directives are very important for an older adult to have. Many elderly individuals function at a decent level and may not think to fill out a form. Others may believe that just expressing their wishes to family members in the past would be a sufficient step to directing their wishes and expected level of care. This could be very far from the truth as grief can cloud judgment.
    • Would an older adult need help finding them? completing them?
  • An older adult may need help finding these important documents because they may not know how or where to look. If it were my mother or father, they would not know how to find these forms online due to the internet being introduced at a later time in their lives. Furthermore, many elderly individuals are the targets of scams, and therefore, you may find an older adult who would be interested in filling out an advanced directive, but may not know how to initiate the process to do so. These documents should be easier to find and legitimize online and should also be offered at community centers and places of worship. Free or reduced-cost services may help these elderly individuals to feel confident and safe enough to complete these forms.
    • Has this assignment made you change your opinion regarding advance directives?
    • I appreciated this assignment because I had never filled out an advanced directive document or thought to seek it. I really do realize the importance of it as many people become ill, are injured, or are unexpectantly put in a situation where difficult decisions must be made. Having an advanced directive filled out ensures that wishes are hopefully honored. This helps to lessen the burden and possible grief of those needing to make difficult decisions. 

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