Have you discussed your end-of-life wishes?
Even though this discussion is beneficial, it is by no means easy. logistically and money wise, it is both equally beneficial to make them. While you are still healthy is its best time to develop a plan.
Some people are fairly mindful that it is beneficial to talk to specific loved ones touching on specific end-of-life wishes. Decisions touching on end-of-life care are really personal based on their principles and values. Understandably it’s a topic most find intimidating to imagine touching on, much less plan for. These days 90% of people understand having this conversation with loved ones about end-of-life care is beneficial, yet only 27% follow through in doing so. Although it will be intimidating to start the conversation, in the end, it will be some kind of priceless gift to the ones you love and those providing medical care. Seldom do we include in the plans how we wish to die. In our lives, we will plan our academic and career paths, marriage, children, and retirement. Families and schools perform fire drills to prepare for an emergency. Even when death follows a prolonged illness, families are too often not prepared for it. However, families are not often prepared for medical emergencies that will end with death or significant disability. Death just isn’t part of our life planning process. Emergencies can happen to anyone at any time.
Pick a Person, everybody needs a representative.
Choose a proper location. Normally, a private location is actually best. Choose a quiet, comfortable place that is actually free from distraction. Having this a sensitive discussion with your loved ones talking about specific end-of-life wishes will be an emotional conversation.
Here are a few things to consider when you are ready to talk with your family to prepare.
Who do you wish that to have the legal rights to make decisions for you in case you are unable to make them yourself? This person should be someone you trust to speak on your behalf and make decisions. This could be a spouse, adult child, sibling, parent, close friend, etc. It is actually quite healthy not only to inform the person who has been called upon, but also to inform any other family members or close friends that may possibly wish that to be included. For example, if you would like your brother to be included as a decision maker and you have a spouse. It is important to know who will make what types of decisions when the time comes. Even more important, make sure to tell your representative that you wish that him or her to accept that role. This is a chance to tell other friends and family who you have designated. Take this time to tell your designated person their specific rights and responsibilities. Have you documented that in a power of attorney? You may want to have different people take on particular responsibilities. Each representative goes by different names and often share roles – health care proxy, surrogate decision maker, or power of attorney, etc. Another common term is a health care power of attorney. If you or a loved one does not designate a person, each state has laws regarding who is actually its default person. Put it in writing. Make a plan that works for you.
Hospice services are one of many end-of-life planning options available. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, approximately 8 out of 10 Americans say they would prefer to die at home, yet only 20 percent of Americans do. Review your options and understand if in-home care, hospice care or some kind of alternative option is the most appropriate.