your values and letting others know your preferences for future care is
important, especially if you cannot speak for yourself. Talk with the
important people in your life about what matters to you.
Decide who you want to have those all-important conversations with and who you would like to speak for you if you can’t make your own healthcare decisions. This might be a spouse, an adult child, a co-worker or a close friend. It’s anyone you can trust to speak for you. You should choose an alternate person as well.
There are many terms for this designated person: health care proxy, health care agent, medical power of attorney or power of attorney for healthcare.
A healthcare agent, also known as a healthcare proxy, plays an
important role in the life of others. It takes a special person to be a
healthcare agent. You must have a number of positive attributes
You must be able to make tough, quick
decisions on behalf of the person who designated you to be their agent.
This can include decisions about medical treatment, procedures and life
You must be willing stand up for the
person who designated you to be a their agent. You must not be afraid to
ask doctors questions or interrupt busy providers to ask for
clarification to things you may not understand.
It is an honor to be selected to
someone’s healthcare agent. You must be able to put aside your own
preferences and wishes and respect the individual’s wishes, even if they
are different from yours. Sometimes family members or close friends
cannot serve as healthcare agents because they may be so emotionally
close to you and may have a difficult time making objective decisions on
Healthcare agents must be
willing to have important ongoing conversations about Advance Care
Planning with the individual who designated them before a medical crisis
occurs. These conversations also build a strong foundation for making
future healthcare decisions.
- Know you well and care about what is important to you
- Listen to you and be respectful of your values
- Guide you but not impose their own personal preferences
- Advocate for you and represent what you want
- Interact with your doctor and other providers to better understand your health condition and status
- Make tough, quick decisions on your behalf — including decisions about treatment options, procedures, and even life support
- Be comfortable with managing and resolving family conflicts
Click on any step
Contact your Worksite Wellness Coordinator for the printed version of the Worksite Wellness Challenge Form for Step #1. Remember to discuss Step #1 with your family and friends then share your signed Step #1 form with your co-worker or friend.