The global pandemic of Coronavirus / COVID-19 has the world focused on its most vulnerable and elderly populations; however, recent reports and information confirm that millennials and Gen Y’s are also at risk. Many nursing homes have stopped allowing visitors in an effort to keep their residents safe. That feeling of being sick and stuck in isolation and, in some cases, bed-ridden and gravely ill, without any available remedy or relief, often leads to extreme feelings of solitude and loneliness. Many reports coming in from Italy and other countries and communities that have been especially hit hard by the current pandemic describe the emotional trauma experienced by medical professionals who must watch the sick die—afraid and often alone—and helpless to do anything about it.
California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, has ordered 40 million Californians to stay at home and practice social distancing. He is predicting 56% of the State will be infected by the novel Coronavirus. Sadly, from that number, there will be many deaths.
In light of what is happening in the rest of the world, we must all face the reality that this disease may eventually touch one of us or someone close to us. Once diagnosed, a patient is quarantined and cared for in isolation. Family members will not be able to visit and, in some cases, unable to connect or communicate with the patient for some portion, or all, of the quarantine period. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you have an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) in place as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, fewer than thirty percent (30%) of American adults have signed advance directives that set forth explicit instructions regarding their healthcare choices. Patients cite scarce information and limited access to legal guidance as top reasons for failing to execute an advance directive. At Velasco Law Group, we are committed to providing vital estate planning information and legal services to you and your loved ones. Additionally, given the current stay at home orders and other limitations that may prevent us from meeting you in-person, we are now offering our legal services virtually, either by phone or video conferencing. Find out how to connect with us HERE
Well-designed communication through an advance directive can help a patient face complex issues in modern medicine and encourage that patient to take charge of his or her care. Having a properly drafted AHCD can reduce, not only skyrocketing health-care costs but also family disputes and misunderstandings, while also preserving patient dignity and quality of care. Advance directives can also help to avoid unwanted, futile medical treatment or intervention that can cause great distress and unnecessary suffering for loved ones.
There are numerous negative consequences for patients and our entire healthcare system that result from the failure of millions of Americans to execute an AHCD. High healthcare costs and family strife and hardship and are among the main concerns. Research suggests that $1.7 billion in annual healthcare expenses could be saved if all competent adults had an advance directive.
Take action now to protect yourself and your loved ones and do it all from the safety of your home. These are difficult and trying times and now more than ever is a critical time to take action. We are here to help you implement your own AHCD and assist you with all your other estate planning needs.