The Conversation
that everyone’s end-of-life wishes will be expressed and respected
(as seen on WABC Evening News)
     

some information obtained from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Conversation/

 

 

 

        This is not an easy conversation, but it's not as difficult as most people think it is.  It’s about what has been, perhaps, the most taboo of topics. But now it’s time to bring it out of the closet, and into the open, to help people open up to the ones they love, without judgment, about the kind of goodbye they want. The kind they could have.

          Some of our parents are unable to decide for themselves what they wanted for lunch, let alone what they wanted for medical care,  and so it falls to family to make medical decisions.

        The Conversation could change all that, and make it so that our last days don't have to be our worst. We have lots of meaningful conversations during our lives, but topping the list has to be talking with family members and loved ones about our own or our parents wishes for care at the end of life. Despite the inevitability of death, for many of us this is the last conversation we either want to have or know how to have; it can be especially difficult to initiate. And yet, without these discussions, we or our loved ones run the risk of running headlong into a medical crisis and getting care we don’t want, and not getting the care we do want. It is easy to become overwhelmed as a caregiver, but this help provides necessary comfort and support.

      Everyone gathered around the kitchen table or living room will have had a say, and then quickly realized this isn’t the last of all this. It’s just the beginning.  The payoff is huge: Studies show families that go through this process of ”The Conversation” come out healthier. The rates of depression in those first six months after the death of a loved one decreased among these families.   Studies also show that 70% of us say we want to die at home, but that 70% of us end up dying in a hospital or nursing home. The numbers are flip flopped.

      Many of us are not even sure what our wishes are. When we are healthy, there’s no urgency to figure them out. When we are sick, we often have our hands full just trying to get better. If our doctor or anyone else raises the issue, many of us change the subject - “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.” There is very little chance, when one day our mortality looms large,  will our needs of being taken care of the way we would want?   Unless (1) we actually have figured out what we do and don't want; and (2) we have told someone else, family who may need to make choices on our behalf, and also our doctor.   Doing these two things does not need to be depressing, quite the opposite.

     Death isn’t something most of us want to spend much time thinking about, but look at it as an “estate planning for the soul.  The real issue is not “death”, it’s  life…

To get paperwork to help check out; http://www.todaysseniors.com/pdf/FinalWish.pdf and or more helpful documents available for your choices and organization go to; http://www.todaysseniors.com/pages/Organizers.html and scroll down for each document.

Check out www.wabc.com for more on this project through New York's television station wabc.

 

 
 

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