As older people consider retirement living plans, some also consider what choices they want healthcare professionals to make in the case of a life-altering event or condition that leaves them unable to articulate their own desires.
However, because of the voluminous healthcare reform debate, documents like the Veterans Affairs pamphlets have become distorted, a department spokeswoman told the Washington Post.
"The booklet is designed to help veterans deal with excruciating questions about what kind of healthcare they would like to receive if they are unable to make decisions for themselves," said Katie Roberts.
A survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Foundation found that 84 percent of Americans believe that it should be a patient's choice what care is offered in the event of a terminal illness.
Less than one-third of those surveyed had actually created a living will, which is a legal document outlining those decisions, the foundation noted.
Retirement living community residents understand better than some the importance of talking with friends and family: 70 percent reported starting discussions about what would happen in such an event.