Talking about what we want for our end-of-life care can feel scary or overwhelming. Some people want to avoid talking about it, or even thinking about it. The vast majority of people (90%) say that talking with your loved ones about end-of-life care is important, yet only 27% have actually done so. Though, if we can have frank discussions about the end-of-life care we want, then we can have our wishes met and spare our loved ones feelings of uncertainty.
The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. “It’s time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It’s time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it’s time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don’t want for ourselves. We believe that the place for this to begin is at the kitchen table—not in the intensive care unit—with the people we love, before it’s too late.”
To make these conversations easier, they offer a free Conversation Starter Kit. It is currently available in PDF format in nine languages. There are four steps laid out in the kit.
- Step 1: Get Ready – Consider what you need to think about before you feel ready to have the conversation and consider any particular concerns that you want to be sure to address.
- Step 2: Get Set – This step provides a list of specifics to think about. It even asks you to select a number (on a scale from one to five) that best represents how you feel about given scenarios.
- Step 3: Go – Decide who you want to talk to and then have the conversation. The kit contains some ice breakers, such as “I need to think about the future. Will you help me?” or “I just answered some questions about how I want the end of my life to be. I want you to see my answers.”
- Step 4: Keep Going – The final step encourages you to keep the conversation going. Clarify any misunderstandings. And make sure your wishes are clearly stated in the appropriate legal documents.
Legal Documents Addressing End-of-Life Care
A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care decisions is a document that names your Attorney in Fact to be your voice for medical decisions. The person you name will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf, including the ability to give or revoke consent to medical treatment, give or revoke consent to being admitted to a nursing home or assisted living facility, and will have access to your medical records and be able to visit you at any medical facility.
A Health Care Directive addresses your medical wishes if you become unable to consciously make your own medical decisions. It ensures that your family members and health care providers are aware of your health care wishes and decisions. A Health Care Directive (also called an Advance Directive or Living Will) along with a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care decisions helps to ensure your wishes are carried out.
Elder Law Group PLLC Focuses On The Particular Needs Of Seniors
At Elder Law Group PLLC we know that making arrangements for the eventuality of aging, Long-Term Care, and mental or physical incapacity can be very stressful and emotional. We strive to remove some of the burden from you and your family by helping you create an Estate Plan that addresses your needs in detail, including Health Care Directives and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care.
We invite you to learn more about our team here, and read what our clients have to say about us here.
Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate, and competent guidance on the particular needs of seniors and their families.