Independent single older adults may grow accustomed to self-sufficiency and taking care of themselves. By creating an advance health care directive, they may maintain their independence. The directive provides health care practitioners with instructions for preferred medical treatments.
As reported by MSN Money, single older adults may grant a trusted individual permission to oversee their long-term care plans. Designating a health care proxy before there is a serious illness or injury can also provide a means of social interaction. Single older adults may benefit from discussions related to their preferences for various medical treatments and end-of-life care.
A health care proxy may help overcome the effects of isolation
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine discovered 25% of adults at least 65 years of age experienced social isolation. As reported by the CDC, loneliness in aging adults over 50 increased the risk of developing health issues.
Social isolation, for example, correlates with an increased risk of dementia by nearly 50%. Research shows that socially uninvolved adults also experience higher rates of anxiety, depression and suicide. A health care proxy, however, may reduce the effects of isolation. His or her regular communications and the personal assistance provided in visiting doctors for medical checkups may provide beneficial social interaction.
An advance health care directive may change while an individual remains aware
Adults accustomed to making their own decisions may change their advance health care directives based on a new diagnosis. As noted by the Mayo Clinic, an experienced health care proxy may also ask questions relevant to a new medical condition and the preferred treatments.
Older single adults may continue to make their own medical decisions with a health care directive. When an illness or incapacitation prevents an individual from making treatment choices, his or her health care proxy can take over based on the terms outlined in the directive.