What’s your New Years resolution for 2019?

Is it health related? Let me guess …. Lower your weight? Eat healthier? Workout more? Quit smoking? While health-related resolutions are one of the most common, Fast Company Magazine claims only 8 percent of us follow through on the goals we set in January.

Don’t let that stop you from making a list of steps you can take this year to improve your quality of life. Consider adding a plan for end-of-life care to this year’s resolution checklist. Even if you have documents in place, this is the perfect time to revisit, update and share those pieces of information with your family and healthcare providers.

A 2015 Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll revealed that only 29 percent of people over 65 have discussed end-of-life care wishes with their physician and more than 40 percent have not documented their wishes. Those that do have this information often have it securely stored in their attorney’s office never to be known by those who need it most — their loved ones and care providers. Frequently people say they are afraid of discussing this topic for fear of upsetting their loved one. Studies show that isn’t the case.

Thoughtful Life Conversations (TLC) put together a series of short videos on the importance of making sure your end-of-life wishes are known. You can watch them by clicking here or on the image below.

An analysis of more than 40 studies reveals that surrogates can suffer guilt and other negative emotions about their decision long after their loved one has passed. Those making decisions when the wishes of their loved ones were known, often suffered much less emotionally and even reported positive emotions; they felt empowered to act for their loved one who could no longer act on his or her own.

All to say, documenting your wishes is a critical piece of your end-of-life care. There are many tools you can use to walk through the process and make your wishes known. You can access them through Thoughtful Life Conversations (TLC) website. Once you’ve had the conversation, be sure to document it, and to share a copy with your family, your medical power of attorney and your healthcare providers.

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