An Advance Directive will help you communicate your desires about medical treatment to loved ones and health professionals, in the event that you cannot express your wishes yourself. The Advanced Directive document provides instructions for your family, caregivers and physician detailing specific information about how you would or would not want to be treated.

There are five key steps to completing your Advanced Directive Care Plan:

  1.  Think about what matters most to you.
  2.  Talk about it with your family, friends and health care provider(s).
  3. Put it in writing  through documenting your preferences in a legal form.
  4. Share your Advance Directives with your family, friends and health care providers.
  5. Review your documents periodically, but at least annually.

We’ve attached a booklet that the Iowa Department of Public Health, Drake University, and Iowa Health have put together detailing the process of setting up an Advanced Directive, and making it legally binding.

CRHC’s Social Worker is available to provide information regarding Advance Directives and assist with paperwork if necessary.

Iowa law provides two types of Advance Directives:

  1. Living Will
  2. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.

A Living Will puts your wishes about medical care at the end of life into writing. Laws in each state define when a living will goes into effect and can limit the treatments that apply. A person’s right to make choices about their treatment is protected by federal and state laws.

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document that lets you name a person you trust to make medical decisions for you if you cannot. In many states, this person can speak for you any time you are not able to make you own medical decisions, not only at the end of life.

Forms to establish advance directives from the Iowa State Bar Association:

Note: These are legal forms, and therefore, you should consult with a law expert while filling them out.

If you have further questions regarding Advance Directives, please contact us at (712) 542-8315.