What kind of healthcare treatment would you and your senior loved ones want to be given at the end of your life — or would you want any at all?
End of life care is something about which most adults in the US have heard and maybe even considered — thanks in part to television shows — with many having also heard about living wills.
Most have not taken things past the “thinking about it” stage, however, to having serious conversations with family or actually doing something to ensure their wishes are honored.
Enter National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), an effort to educate and inspire individuals to formally express their wishes regarding healthcare and encourage healthcare providers and facilities to honor those wishes.
We thought this year’s NHDD would be a good time to revisit an episode of the Senior Care Corner® Radio Show from a few years ago, one in which we talk about NHDD and use it as a springboard to encourage family caregivers and their senior loved ones to have their own family healthcare decisions day.
Not only is it important for family caregivers to ensure senior loved ones express their wish, but the caregivers need to make their own end of live decisions.
Family Healthcare Decisions
First, I guess we should explain what we mean by the “healthcare decisions” families should discuss.
We’re talking about the type of care an individual wishes to receive — and the care she or he does not wish to receive — when potentially at the end of life, at a time when ongoing life depends on the measures performed.
Examples of these measures include receiving CPR, being placed on a ventilator, or being fed via a tube.
Why are we taking about this now?
Putting aside that we frequently talk about the need for living wills, advance directives, and the family conversations that help make those decisions, we want to get families planning to have these discussions when they gather from their scattered homes for family spring and summer events.
Listen to the feature segment in this episode for our discussion of family healthcare decision making, including reasons why it’s important and how families may approach the conversation.
Preparing for the Family End of Life Care Discussion
Preparation can help families better face the elephant in the room and have a more successful discussion of end of life options.
- Learn about what “advance directives” means. We don’t just mean the term but, more importantly, the implications for those making and formalizing the decisions, as well as their family members.
- Research what is required in your state, or states for dispersed family members, and which decisions are covered.
- Gain an understanding of various means of life support to give a better understanding of what is involved with the decisions to be made.
- Consider consulting an elderlaw attorney or other legal reference source to determine what the necessary forms look like, what information is needed to complete them, and the steps to take to ensure they are enforceable.
Catch the full discussion in this episode of the Senior Care Corner Radio Show.
Additional Healthcare Decisions Resources
- A past discussion of ours on Seniors’ Five Wishes: Key Health & End of Life Decisions
- Information about Living Wills / Advance Healthcare Directives on LegalZoom (affiliate link), a site we have found helpful for legal research or do-it-yourselfers
We hope you like this trip back to a prior episode of the Senior Care Corner Show and find it helpful to you and your family. We have also prepared this transcript – so you can follow along with the recording or read it at your convenience.