April 16 is Healthcare Decisions Day, an initiative that encourages adults of all ages and health statuses to make a plan before a health crisis.
- Who will speak for me if I can’t?
- Which kinds of medical treatment do I want or don’t want?
- Do I want my doctors to do everything they can to keep me alive?
- Do you want my family to respect my wishes when I say I want to switch to comfort care only?
- What kind of funeral do I want?
- What do I want my loved ones to know?
Thinking of these situations may be hard, but once your wishes are in writing, it becomes a wonderful gift to your loved ones. Having your wishes on paper gives your loved ones the reassurance that they are doing what you wanted, even if you lose the ability to communicate. It may help to minimize conflict or guilt in the family.
According to The Conversation Project, 90% of people say that talking with their loved ones is important but only 27% have actually done so. Today is the day to make a plan. Think about your end-of-life wishes, talk about them, write them down. Check out The Conversation Project’s website for information, including a “What Matters to Me Workbook” to help you get your thoughts together. Or, look at Five Wishes, a popular, easy way to get your wishes written down.
Don’t wait another year. This is important.