Interesting story from Kiplinger.com titled, “Advance Directive: Ensure End-of-Life Wishes Honored.” The report highlights the need for an advance directive that details the type of care you desire at the end of your life….particularly when you can no longer speak for yourself. Below is a brief excerpt from the story.
If you don’t already have an advance directive, create one now—and share it widely. An advance directive, which usually refers to a living will and a health care power of attorney, should document your preferences for medical treatment in an accident or at the end of your life, plus name a health care agent to make decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated.
When you’ve completed your advance directive, make multiple copies, says Schwarz. Give them to family members and all the providers on your medical team. Keep your copies where they can be easily located. Paramedics often are trained to check a refrigerator door for a do-not-resuscitate order—so if you have one, tape it there. “Your documents are like nuggets of gold to caregivers left wondering, ‘How do I do this well?,’ ” says Paul Malley, president of Aging with Dignity, a nonprofit that advocates for end-of-life planning. “You want to tell as many people as possible that you’ve made your decisions and where your records are kept.”
A 2015 Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll revealed that only 29% of people over 65 have discussed end of life care wishes with their physician and more than 40% have not documented their wishes. If you are among those 40%…..the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) can help with the necessary tools and resources you need to to make your wishes known. Simply visit the Thoughtful Life Conversations (TLC) website.
TLC put together a short video on the importance of making sure you document your end of life wishes and make them known! You can watch it by clicking here or on the picture below.
Some may think advance care planning is something you should do when you get sick, but that may be the worst time. Having these conversations, “before the crisis” is not only much easier, it is much more valuable to both you and your loved ones.
If you still believe it’s too early or just not the right time to have a thoughtful life conversation about end of life care – remember…..it’s always too early until it’s too late. AzHHA wants to encourage you to have that conversation. It’s another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!