As your parent grows older, they may face health challenges that require careful planning. As their child, it’s understandable if you want to help them secure this part of their future. Helping them create a Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA) may help you with this.
However, you might not be aware of it, but an elderly parent may feel overwhelmed when thinking about their medical future. There are several reasons why this is so. But the question is, how can you help if they refuse to make any plans for HCPA?
Reasons for refusal
Parents may have various reasons for not agreeing to a Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA), even though it can be a crucial document for their future medical care. Some possible reasons include:
- Fear of losing control: Parents may fear that granting someone else the authority to make medical decisions means they will lose control over their health care choices. They may be hesitant to relinquish this control.
- Cultural or religious beliefs: Cultural or religious beliefs can influence one’s perspective on medical decision-making. Some parents may believe that health care decisions should be solely in the hands of fate or a higher power.
- Privacy concerns: Sharing personal medical information and preferences with an agent may raise concerns about privacy. Parents may worry about their agents accessing sensitive information.
- Family dynamics: Complicated family dynamics can affect the decision-making process. Parents might fear that designating one child as their agent could lead to conflicts or feelings of favoritism among siblings. They may want to protect their family members from these challenges.
- Changing health status: If a parent is currently in good health, they may not see the immediate need for an HCPA. They might believe it’s something to consider later, not realizing that unexpected health events can happen.
It’s important to approach discussions about HCPAs with empathy, understanding and patience. Addressing these concerns and providing information can help parents make informed decisions about their health care planning.
Why your support matters
Your role as their child is not just about emotional support but respecting their wishes when they can’t make decisions themselves. An HCPA allows them to designate someone to make medical choices on their behalf, and your involvement can make all the difference.