Experts agree that the time to discuss your feelings about end-of-life care is before a crisis happens or a severe illness occurs. The time to communicate your end-of-life care wishes is now, when you are able to discuss your choices. Two documents, referred to as advance directives, that should be in place are:
- A living will containing your care and treatment preferences.
- A durable power of attorney allowing the person you choose to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. Provide your family doctor with a copy of this document. Our lawyers can prepare these papers, or you can do them yourself. Forms are available from the state to get you started before you come in.
Be sure to keep copies of these documents in your personal file. These days, most hospitals are asking for a copy when you are admitted, even if you are not seriously ill. It is also important to give permission to your doctors and insurance companies to share your personal information with your health care proxy. This lets that person discuss your case with your doctor and handle insurance issues that may come up.
Begin your end-of-life planning with a conversation with your loved ones. It might be difficult for them to hear. Be prepared that you may have to try again at another time. Doctors should be told about these wishes as well.
It is important that your loved ones are good listeners. This is a conversation, not a debate. Make it clear that this is important for everyone.
Finally, call Hospice if you are struggling with a life-limiting illness. Hospice programs provide quality care focusing on comfort and dignity. They also provide 12 months of grief services for your family members after your death.
The Kabb Law Firm can simplify your end-of-life planning and give you peace of mind. Call us at 216-991-KABB (5222).