Difficult conversations are often the easiest to avoid, but the most important to be had. Sharing your wishes for care through end of life is no exception. National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) exists educate and empower individuals to talk about advance care planning. There’s no greater gift you can give loved ones than peace of mind knowing your wishes are being respected.
The thought of advance care planning may feel grim or overwhelming, but there are tons of resources available to help. If you’re unsure where to start or what’s left to do, consider these questions:
- Have we designated someone to speak on our behalf on health issues if we are not able to speak for ourselves?
- Have we had a conversation with that person about what our wishes would be if we are confronted with a life-threatening illness and could not make our own decisions?
- Have we completed a healthcare proxy form officially designating who will speak on our behalf?
- Is this form in a place where it can be easily retrieved if needed, and not in a safe deposit box or lawyer’s office?
- Have we shared this document and “what matters most” with our doctor?
- And if we have done all this in the past, is it now time to do it again, because our circumstances have changed?
MaineHealth – Advance Care Planning
The Conversation Project – Your Conversation Starter Guide
The Conversation Project – More guides, workbooks, and resources