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  • Writer's pictureAndrea




POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.  It is a medical order form designed to specify a patient’s wishes for end-of-life care.  It is typically used for patients with serious illnesses or those nearing the end of life.  As a formality, facilities that may require you to have a POLST may include: Hospitals, Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities, Hospice Care and Home Healthcare Agencies.  POLST forms serve as a summary of decisions that are often specified in an Advanced Healthcare Directive.  They provide instructions for emergency personnel to follow regarding CPR, intubation, and other life-sustaining treatments.  They are legally binding medical orders that must be followed by healthcare providers.  Having a POLST offers several benefits:


Clarity and Specificity

It provides clear instructions regarding the type of care a patient wishes to receive or avoid in specific medical situations.


Medical Orders

Unlike advance directives, which are more general, POLST forms are medical orders that healthcare providers must follow, ensuring the patient’s wishes are honored.


Emergency Situations

In emergencies, when a patient may not be able to communicate their wishes, the POLST form guides medical personnel in providing appropriate care.


Respects Patient Autonomy

It empowers patients to make decisions about their end-of-life care based on their values and preferences.


Reduces Unwanted Interventions

Helps prevent unwanted or unnecessary medical interventions, ensuring that patients receive care aligned with their goals and values.





Discuss with Healthcare Provider

Start by discussing your preferences for end-of-life care with your healthcare provider.


Complete the Form 

If you and your healthcare provider decide that a POLST is appropriate, the form will be completed together. It involves detailing your preferences for life-sustaining treatments, such as CPR, intubation, and other medical interventions.


Review and Sign 

Once the form is completed, review it carefully to ensure it accurately reflects your wishes.  The physician’s signature is needed.  Then, sign the form to make it legally valid



Make sure copies of the signed POLST form are provided to your healthcare team, family members, and any other relevant individuals involved in your care. Keep a copy in a readily accessible place, such as with your medical records.


Regular Review 

It's important to periodically review and update your POLST form to ensure it reflects any changes in your preferences or medical condition.


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Learn More about Senior Living

At The Artesian of Ojai Senior Living, we offer a range of care options both in Assisted Living and in Memory Care, providing unparalleled well-being, comfort and peace of mind for residents and their families. To learn more about our community, visit our website or call for a tour at (805) 798 – 9305.


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