What’s the Number One Must-Have Conversation for 2020?
It’s the epitome of “taboo.” In our society, we still tend to shy away from the topic of death and our own mortality. We all know we should prepare for the birth of a child, financially as well as emotionally, and we prepare for the workplace, higher education, a career and/or family, and retirement. Planning ahead permeates our lives – notice how the malls are ready for Christmas in early October these days? Yet some of us just can’t wrap our heads around planning for our grand exit, our death.
In the event you should become ill or aged and have not discussed or written down your wishes, then critical care decisions end up in the hands of your doctor. What makes so much more sense is for you to decide and document what type of medial care you do or do not want should you become incapacitated or terminally ill, even if this occurs while you are still young. It could happen.
There is no guarantee that you or I or anyone will have the chance to state our final wishes at or near the end. Many times a patient in hospice care is in no condition to have this discussion and make decisions. It may be due to dementia, lack of cognitive ability, or confusion about their prognosis. Sometimes the patient is not responsive, not able to talk with anyone about anything.
Even if you are in great health right now, you must agree it is very smart to talk to your loved ones about your own Advance Directives and final wishes. There is nothing to gain by putting it off, and it is quick and simple to fill out forms with your important instructions.
The advantages of pre-planning your end-of-life decisions are numerous, with the primary one being that you will gain confidence and peace of mind that your wishes will be understood and carried out, not left up to others. It is not only a relief for you, it will save your loved ones an enormous amount of anxiety and burden. This is your personal responsibility, as well as privilege.