Have you ever considered what might happen if you were injured on the beltway, taken to a hospital, and couldn’t speak for yourself? Who would make decisions for your care? Would they know what type of care you would want, or not want, as the case may be? If you haven’t had this discussion with your friends, family or physician and haven’t made, and written down, your preferences regarding such a situation it is time to do so now.
Advance care planning is a “GIFT” you give your family. What kind of gift you may ask? It is the gift of knowing that your family members are making decisions based on your choices. So many family members are caught in this dilemma every day whereby they must make decisions for their loved ones and they don’t really know how. It breaks their heart when they are called upon to make such a decision to begin with and if they don’t know your preferences for such a situation it is even more difficult for them. This is your chance to help them and to help your healthcare provider do what it is that you want.
We know what you are thinking, first, this won’t happen to me, I’m not sick or, I don’t want to think about it, it makes me sad, and any way, they know me, they’ll do the right thing. Don’t leave them with that burden. Life is a terminal condition. We are all going to die some day and some of us will get sick or injured sooner than we expect leaving our families to make healthcare decisions for us.
Advance care planning provides you with the tools you need to get your preferences documented. These tools include:
· Identifying your wishes regarding types of treatment you want or don’t want
· Identifying a Health Care Agent or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
· Ensuring you meet your States requirements for this type of legal documentation.
· Knowing the steps, you need to take to make to ensure it is available when needed.
In the coming months, I will be covering the important aspects of how to do advance care planning so that you have all the pieces of the puzzle. Remember several things as you consider this. Every one of us is going to die (sorry but it is the truth), identifying your wishes may help you when you can no longer make your wishes known, but the real “GIFT” is the fact that your family will know your desires when they are called up on to make tough decisions. Help them out by having ‘The Conversation’ with them, putting your wishes in writing and making them accessible for when they are needed. If I can help you move forward with your planning please contact me via e-mail so I can help you:
Have ‘The Conversation’
Give ‘The Gift’
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