Legal Documents You Need for Your Parent in Senior Care

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Senior care legal documents

Whether you already have a parent in senior care, or you are preparing to enroll a parent into senior care services, it will be beneficial for you to help them establish several legal documents. The legal documents we have outlined below are vital for any parent in senior care.

Advanced Directive

An advanced directive is perhaps the most important item for your senior to have prepared. Advanced directives are a collection of documents that outline your senior’s detailed instructions and preferences regarding medial treatments and comfort for end of life care. These documents are essential to have in place should your senior become incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves.

Living Will

A living will is just one component of an advanced directive, but it is a critical document. Living wills state your senior’s wishes regarding their end of life care, and they also will inform physicians and healthcare providers about their wishes if they are being carried out by a healthcare proxy. You can view more information on healthcare proxies below under “Power of Attorney.”


DNR stands for “Do Not Resuscitate” while DNI means “Do Not Intubate.” While these are sensitive topics to discuss, they are necessary to state your senior’s preferences when it comes to resuscitation and intubation, so talking about these documents openly and honestly is important. DNR orders state that your senior does now with to have CPR, chest compressions, or use of a defibrillator to keep them alive, while a DNI order states that your senior does not wish for a breathing tube to be inserted to keep them alive.

Power of Attorney

Your senior has two types of power of attorney to address. The first is durable, wherein another person is given the legal right to conduct all matters on behalf of your senior, such as medical, real estate, banking, finance, and government benefits. The second is healthcare, or healthcare proxy, which allows your senior to appoint someone to carry out their wishes for end of life care if they are unable to speak for themselves during that time.

Will and/or Trust

Wills and trusts are two separate legal documents that pertain specifically to the disposition of property and your senior’s possessions. We suggest that your senior meet with an attorney to establish these documents.

For help enrolling your senior in senior care services and developing a personalized care plan, please call Home Care Assistance to schedule your consultation!

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