Do you have a parent in senior care? Are you getting ready to enroll a parent in senior care? If the answer to either question is “yes,” then it will be to your benefit to familiarize yourself with the legal documents needed for a parent in senior care.

Advanced Directive

Advanced directives are crucial for a senior to have prepared. It is a collection of documents that detail your senior’s specific instructions and preferences for medical treatments and comfort during their end of life care. Advanced directives become especially important if, at that time in your senior’s life, they are unable to speak for themselves or communicate.

Living Will

A living will is a specific and critical component of an advanced directive. A living will is the document that states your senior’s wishes for their end of life. They also serve to inform healthcare providers and physicians about their wishes that are being carried out by a healthcare proxy (see below for more details).


DNR stands for “Do Not Resuscitate” while DNI means “Do Not Intubate.” These are two documents are necessary to define your senior’s preferences when it comes to resuscitation or intubation, which are used to save lives. A DNR order states that your senior does not want CPR, chest compressions, or the use of a defibrillator to keep them alive. A DNI order states that your senior does not want a breathing tube inserted to keep them alive.

Power of Attorney

There are two types of power of attorney to consider: Durable and healthcare/healthcare proxy. A durable power of attorney gives another personal the legal right to conduct all matters on behalf of your senior. This includes matters related to real estate, banking, finance, medical, and government benefits. Additionally, your senior can appoint a healthcare power of attorney or a healthcare proxy to ensure their wishes about end of life care are honored if they cannot speak for themselves.

Will and/or Trust

Wills and trusts are legal documents pertaining to possessions and the disposition of properties. We recommend that your senior establish these types of documents with an attorney.

If you are preparing to enroll your senior into senior care services, we are ready to help you at Home Care Assistance. Call us today to schedule your consultation and develop a customized care program.