Here’s the bad news or at least for some of you it’ll be bad news……..we’re all going to die.
Today, I want to talk with you about that fact. Let’s start with the understanding that you and I are going to die and death is never easy or fun. Yet, it is part of life.
So my question to you is if it’s difficult and most people would agree an important topic, why is it we never getting around to having those important conversations with those we love and those who will be involved in end of life planning?
It might be that you don’t want to talk about death because you don’t want to look at the end of your life, or it just might always seem like it’s years away. If not your death, what about your parents or grandparents? Shouldn’t they be having “the conversation”?
A book you need to read
I just finished The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care by Angelo E. Volandes,
M.D. This is one of those must read books that I come across every once in a while. In it you’ll learn about some very important conversations you should have before you have about end of life.
Most people when asked would prefer to die at home surrounded by their loved ones. The reality is far different. Most people end up dying in an institution where they’re hooked up to lots of machines with extreme levels of medical care being provided.
The reason this happens…….you just haven’t had the conversation with those you love.
Please spend 5 minutes and 12 seconds watching this video. Then, take action and have the conversation.
In case you don’t want to do either, here are the three things Dr. Volandes and I think you should talk with your family and health care providers about:
Start by having the conversation
Here are four questions you can ask to start the conversation:
- What kind of things are most important to you? What makes you happy?
- What fears do you have about getting sick or needing medical care?
- If you were very sick, are there any specific medical treatments that might too much for you?
- Do you have any beliefs that guide you when you make medical decisions?
You want to start this conversation with your significant other and then broaden it to your health care providers as well as your greater family. Having this conversation before you need to will allow you to make a decision that’s well thought out and give you a chance to have an end of life that you want.
Let your loved ones know your choices
You might have decided what you want to do. If you don’t let your loved ones know your thoughts and wishes, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with something far different.
You see, end of life is cruel. There’s a chance you won’t be able to talk or communicate. With 80% of people saying they want to die at home, but the opposite happens, there must be a lack of communication about choices, that is if you even make a choice.
There are legal forms you should fill out and keep on file with everyone who provides health care. Don’t want to have CPR, then you better let those who might provide care know your wishes…..or at the very least let your loved ones know so they can say yes or no when the time comes.
Talk to your doctor and know your options
Your last step is to make sure you have “the conversation” with your doctor. This conversation isn’t just to let your doctor know what your wishes are but also to become educated about what your options are.
End of life is not an either or decision. You get to choose how much and what type of care you want. For me, it’s going to be all about comfort. What about you? Why don’t you leave a comment below and let me know what you think about end of life choices and what you’ve done to let your loved ones know what your wishes are?