Talking about the end-of-life is never easy. Most tend to ignore the topic until it becomes unavoidable, leaving caregivers to make tough decisions that may or may not line up with their loved one’s wishes.
That’s why discussing healthcare through the end of life and completing an advance directive can be incredibly helpful to caregivers and ultimately reassuring to patients – all parties are on the same page about what type of care is in alignment with a patient’s wishes if they become unable to respond for themselves. While difficult to address, the relief of having the discussion is beneficial in the long run.
Advanced directives are patient directed written legal documents that dictate how health care should be carried out in case of incapacitation. A lawyer isn’t needed to draw up advance directives, but every state does have their own laws regarding how they should be written. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has a list of each state’s guidelines, which you can find here.
Ideally, advanced directives are drawn up before illness or injury occurs, meaning that a conversation with loved ones should happen while in good health.
If you want to take the first steps to have the conversation with your loved one – either preparing your own directive or bringing the subject up with your older loved one – there are number of tips that can help make the conversation go smoothly.
At Abramson Senior Care, our Palliative Care and Hospice programs use the following resources to help guide families through the process of putting together an advance directive.
Both offer useful templates and educational resources on how to have a productive, loving conversation.
Healthcare and end-of-life discussions are rarely easy to begin, but having clear instructions regarding care can make sure that the patient’s wishes are being carried out. Taking the steps to start this conversation sooner rather than later can ultimately bring comfort to all involved.
If you have questions about end-of-life care, please call Abramson Care Advisors at 215.371.3400.