Share your wishes. Then go back to living.

Maybe the thought of completing an Advance Directive is too much for you to think about. But what about your loved ones? Will you leave your end-of-life wishes for them to decide when they are already overwhelmed and heartbroken? Have you talked with them about what you may or may not want for your end-of-life medical treatment? Do you know what you may or may not want?

Her loving significant other’s health was worsening. They were not legally married, so the attending healthcare professionals turned to their daughter for end-of-life treatment conversations and decisions. It was a painful, emotional time for their daughter, and her mother.

He improved somewhat, which gave his family limited time to consider his medical treatment options and identify his partner as his healthcare agent. Decisions were made that, while they didn’t take away the sadness of his passing, made it easier to follow through with their responsibilities to him and his loved ones.

His memorial service was planned. Loved ones were given time to arrive to celebrate a life well-lived. They laughed and reminisced through their tears. Grief remained but without the painful decision-making they had previously encountered. The focus was on him, and his life, not on his death.

What would be important for you? Would you want life-saving measures that may or may not return you to your life as you know it? Would you want someone to make the decision for you as to whether a ventilator or feeding tube should be used? Would you prefer comfort measures be taken?

Learn all you can. Work with people who will help you better understand end-of-life treatment options. Make it easier for your loved ones.

Share your wishes. Then go back to living.

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