By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com contributing editor
Many people consider information and decisions about their health to be highly sensitive, deserving of the strongest protection under the law. Therefore, when it comes to your parent’s healthcare, the law is very strict about who is able to participate in healthcare-related conversations and decisions.
However, many people never think about their views and values regarding end-of-life decisions until a crisis hits – the time when decision-making is most difficult. Not planning in advance means that you might not be able to gain access to the information you need, or act on your parent’s behalf if they are unable to do so. In a worst-case scenario, you might be forced to fight in court for guardianship, a time-consuming and costly process. You can avoid this scenario by working with your parent to prepare these documents.
The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) keeps a person’s health information and records private. Unless your parent authorizes in writing someone else to receive that information, it is illegal for doctors to share any details with you about your parent’s health. HIPAA authorization is a simple document that authorizes the doctor to share necessary information with you on your elderly parent’s behalf. It’s very short and only takes a moment to complete. The doctor’s office will have the blank form you need.
3 Must-Have Legal Documents for Elderly Healthcare originally appeared on AgingCare.com