April 16 marks 2019’s National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a time to make advance plans for your medical care and – most important – discuss them with your family. Making decisions in advance and discussing them enables people to live with the confidence that their wishes are understood and empowered, for how their later life will go – this is the goal. Making it a priority is the reason we observe this special day. NHDD is a feature of The Conversation Project, an initiative that aims to make sure every person’s wishes for end-of-life care are expressed and respected.
Peace of mind today and clear, orderly direction tomorrow begin with each of us thinking carefully about what they value in life that they want to continue when the end of life draws near. That means deciding how far we want extraordinary medical measures to go, and who among our family or loved ones is going to have the power to implement those decisions if we are unable to do so.
There’s a Kit
Although 90% of people say it’s important to talk with their loved ones about their wishes for end-of-life care, only 23% have done it. It’s naturally challenging to discuss because this conversation calls for us to envision situations we spend our lives avoiding. But a plan that carefully considers our preferences and desires, before a crisis adds pressure to the conversation, is really about quality of life, not death.
So, The Conversation Project offers a clear, simple, but insightful starter kit to make the process of arriving at those decisions and discussing them with loved ones lots easier.
There Are Five Key Questions
A 12-page guide for documenting advance directives called Five Wishes has been offered for 20 years by a non-profit organization called Aging with Dignity. With more than 23 million copies in circulation, Five Wishes has become the most popular and easily understood format for documenting advance medical directives. It meets the requirements in 42 states for an advance directive with the force of law. In addition, Five Wishes offers support for discussing personal, emotional, and spiritual matters with your loved ones as well.
As a family medical practice entrusted with the care and quality of life as it goes on, we see that the little decisions people make every day play a vital role in the quality of the lives they lead. So, we’re in a good position to help, when you decide to talk with loved ones about your own advance healthcare decisions. Why not schedule an appointment with us at Global Family Medicine to begin? Call us at 843-815-6468.