What is a Psychiatric Advance Directive?

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Psychiatric Advance Directive Defined

A psychiatric advance directive (PAD) is a legal document that establishes what a person wants done in regard to their mental health if they should become disabled and unable to make a decision for themselves. A PAD can also establish another person as a representative who can make decisions for the patient’s mental health care if he or she becomes incapacitated.

The PAD, which only concerns mental health issues and treatment for those issues, is a separate legal document from a regular health care advanced directive. Any additional health directives must be covered using.

Types Of Mental Health Issues Covered

At this time, all mental health issues are covered under a PAD. Forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s are also covered, as these conditions dramatically affect mental abilities and are often treated with medications intended for mental health issues.

What to Include in a PAD

PAD’s should include the following information:

  • Person’s desire for treatment or continued treatment
  • Refusal of specific types of treatments – physical or medication
  • Appointed decision maker for mental health related issues
  • Specific desires for continuation of treatment should the disease become fatal
  • Preferences for types of care, such as nursing homes or in-home care in Denver
  • Information stating additional health care directives are in place and should be consulted

Do All Seniors Need a PAD?

A PAD should be in place for everyone, regardless of history of mental illness or disease. Many situations can occur in life that lead to a change in cognitive abilities. Protections for your parent or loved one should be in place so his or her wishes are always the first concern of their health care provider.

For more information about caring for a senior adult with a mental health issue, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Denver. Our trained and compassionate caregivers are available 24/7 and provide specialty Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Denver and the surrounding communities. Call us today at 720-443-3371 to request more information and a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.


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