Having the conversation…
Throughout our lives there are certain times when it is necessary to “have the talk”. On April 16, National Healthcare Decisions Day, people are encouraged to have the talk about end of life issues. That’s a conversation that is difficult for some to approach or consider. But it may be one of the most important conversations one can have.
So how do you start the conversation? Consider how you want to live if you were experiencing a serious illness, faced with a sudden and challenging health situation, or nearing the end of life. What treatments would you consider? What “extra” measures would you want taken on your behalf? What are your wishes for the quality of your life?
No one wants to think about something “bad” happening to them. But just as we consider other events that can change our living situations (e.g. buying insurance in case we have a car accident; having financial investment strategies that coincide with economic and market situations), it’s wise to consider what we would do if our health and quality of life is challenged, compromised or changes.
Planning ahead for healthcare decisions makes good sense. Sitting with a loved one(s) and explaining how you want to live allows you to have control over the quality of your own life. It also gives your loved one(s) invaluable direction on how to best meet your wishes, if you cannot speak for yourself.
Waiting for a crisis to make such decisions can take the control away from the person affected. And is that the time you want to make such decisions? If unable to speak for oneself, it’s then up to the family. One of the worst things a family can be faced with at such a time of crisis is trying to guess what their loved one wants.
Without healthcare decisions and directives already made and shared, the medical community must follow a “do everything” approach. This can mean that the person may be subjected to treatments and protocols that they would not have chosen to take. Think about your wishes. Make your own decisions. And share them with your loved ones. Have the talk.
For more information and resources, visit http://www.nhdd.org/resources/#learn-more
Contact NVNA and Hospice today.