Even though we know it’s beneficial, few of us have been willing to have a life care planning conversation, says The Oakland Post recently in the article, “How to Have a Conversation About the End of Your Life.”
According to the California Healthcare Foundation, 90% of Americans say that talking to loved ones about end-of-life care is important, but just 27% have actually done this.
Fewer than 30% have completed an Advance Healthcare Directive, which documents a person’s choice of their healthcare representative and specifies the end of life care they wish to receive.
Begin the life care planning conversation early. As soon as a teen gets a driver’s license, parents should ask who he would trust to make his decisions, if for some reason–like being injured in a car accident–the teen couldn’t speak for himself.
This life care planning conversation should continue throughout a lifetime, because answers can change as people age. Injury and disease can occur at any time—young or old—so it’s best to be prepared. Families should discuss the details of what it means to be placed on life-sustaining treatment, before being faced with that reality.
Because there are so many medical options now available, people need to understand the consequences of their decisions.
One way to begin a life care planning conversation is to consider your values, what matters most to you, and what you would consider to be a good end to your life. A person should consider who she trusts to carry out her wishes. Discussing with loved ones about what you want ahead of time also helps to ensure that your wishes will be honored.
Reference: Oakland Post (October 20, 2017) “How to Have a Conversation About the End of Your Life”