Hi, it’s Lucy Andrews, home care nurse and owner, “At Your Service Home Care”. Today we’re going to talk about a difficult subject, one that often people don’t want to hear about, but it is so important to have the discussion. That is about end of life care. What do you want? What do you want for your family members? Do you know what your parent or your spouse wants if something happened to them? These questions are so important to ask before something happens. So today I’m going to give you three tips on how to start that conversation.

First of all, examine what it is that you want for you in your future. If something happened to you and you were unable to speak or to say what your wishes were, to make them known to somebody, would your family know what to do? Start with yourself. So tip number one is, think about your own future. How do you want that to happen if you were suddenly in the hospital? Or if you suddenly needed very significant medical intervention, what would you want?

Secondly, start to have that conversation with your parent, your spouse, your loved one because if you are in charge if something happens to them, you absolutely need to know what their wishes were. It’s too late when something has happened to try and make that determination and I see that it tears families up sometimes, if there is disagreement or they don’t know what their loved one wants. So please have that conversation.

Thirdly, get it down in writing. Sometimes people forget, we don’t understand clearly so it’s always a good idea to document your wishes. There are many forms that are out there and available. In fact, you can Google it on the internet and find forms that are appropriate for your state that talk about advance directives and what it is that you want. It’s very important to not leave this decision to others or to the medical professionals because they don’t know you, they don’t know your wishes, no one can make that choice as good as you can for yourself.

The three tips today, figure out for yourself what you want, figure out what your loved one wants, and most importantly, write it down for each of you. Sign it, put it in your safe, give it to your attorney, give it to your family members, give it to your health care provider so everybody is clear about the wishes that you have for your future. This is the start of a difficult conversation, but if you do it you will be rewarded by knowing that you and your family know what you want and what they want.

This is Lucy Andrews, “At Your Service Home Care”, signing off for today.