Legal Documents You Need for Your Parent in Senior Care

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Senior care legal documents

Have a parent in senior care? Getting ready to enroll a parent in senior care? If the answer is “yes” to either question, then it will be to your benefit to familiarize yourself with the legal documents necessary for a parent in senior care.

Advanced Directive

This is perhaps one of the most important pieces of legal planning for your senior. An advanced directive is a collection of documents containing detailed instructions and preferences for your senior’s medical treatments and comfort during their end of life care. This is crucial to have prepared to plan for the event that one day your senior may be unable to speak for themselves.

Living Will

One particular (and critical) component of an advanced directive is a living will. A living will is a document that will state your senior’s end of life care wishes. It also will help to inform healthcare providers and physicians about your senior’s wishes if they are begin conveyed by a healthcare proxy (you can read more about healthcare proxies below).


DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate) and DNIs (Do Not Intubate) are two documents that aren’t always easy to discuss, but they are necessary to honor your senior’s wishes regarding resuscitation and intubation. If your senior has a DNR order, it will state that they do not want CPR, chest compressions, or the use of a defibrillator to keep them alive. If they have a DNI order, it will state they do not want a breathing tube inserted to keep them alive.

Power of Attorney

Your senior has two types of power of attorney to consider: Durable and healthcare/healthcare proxy. With a durable power of attorney, another person has the legal right to oversee all matters, including real estate, banking, finance, government benefits, and medical, on behalf of your senior. With a healthcare/healthcare proxy power of attorney, your senior can appoint a person to make sure their wishes for end of life care are honored if they cannot speak for themselves.

Will and/or Trust

Will and trusts are different legal documents that deal with the disposition of your senior’s property or their possessions. We suggest working with an attorney to establish these types of documents.

If you would like any further help understanding the legal documents needed for a parent in senior care, or you would like to explore your senior care service options, please call Home Care Assistance for your free consultation.


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