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Who should be involved in my health care decisions?

Many people include their families when making big decisions, especially those regarding health care. As a veteran, it is likely that you have many people and resources available to you for support when considering important health care related changes. Whether you choose to include family members, doctors, case workers or caregivers when making important decisions, discussing your options with those that care for you may be in your best interest.

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Not everyone feels the same way you do when it comes to health care. To know you have made the best decision possible, it helps to look at your options from different viewpoints. Those involved in your care may have concerns and questions you haven't considered. Likewise, your opinion will matter to those that love you, and if they're struggling with your decisions, talking to them may help.

Primarily, it is the doctor's responsibility to care for you, but they can't go it alone. If your doctor knows that you have a team of supportive people behind you, they may have more confidence in your ability to get healthy and stay healthy. Many doctors also see the benefit to having more than one set of eyes and ears when it comes to giving medical instruction and advice. Details that you may miss during an office visit or phone call may be ones your caretakers or family members don't. This added support team is a safety net of sorts for your health care information.

When facing big decisions regarding your health, it may be best to include as many members of your support team as possible in the discussion. If you are considering making changes to or creating an advance directive, or other health care related contract, consulting an elder law attorney may help.

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