Death is a difficult thing to discuss. Many people shy away from it. We all know the end is inevitable, but we don’t want to talk about it. Talking about it makes it tangible, makes it feel more real. But as difficult as it may be, these things need to be discussed so your loved ones and friends can know your wishes. Here are a few necessary things for setting up an end of life care strategy to help you and your loved ones prepare for that time.
1. Communicate your wishes – Do you have specific desires or plans for what you want as the end nears? Communicate that with your loved ones. They cannot support or facilitate what they do not know you wish for. It is best if you can write these out so your loved ones can refer to them as needed. Any wishes related to your healthcare should also be relayed to your physician.
2. Establish a living will – A living will is a legal representation of you wishes. Should you ever become incapacitated a living will provides your voice in any decisions regarding your care.
3. Consider establishing a Power of Attorney – Power of Attorney gives the individual of your choosing power to make decisions on your behalf. Especially as your care becomes more complicated, it is comforting to know you have someone with your best interests in mind with the legal ability to further your wishes.
4. Consider hospice – The staff in a hospice center are specifically trained to deal with the unique challenges associated with the end of a life. They can provide great support and comfort for an individual in this difficult time. Not to mention, it would be a great comfort to friends and family knowing you have constant medical care close at hand.