ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONVERSATIONS
You can begin your own advance care planning conversation. Are you unsure if now is the right time to begin? It’s appropriate for everyone, no matter what age, to begin the conversation about healthcare choices. Here are some examples of people who were motivated to begin their own advance care planning conversations.
“I recently graduated from high school and am looking forward to going to college! Im scared about leaving home, but I am excited about discovering life beyond my hometown. Before I started packing for college, my parents sat me down for a talk. We discussed money and safety tips, and then had a talk about balancing my social life along with my studies. My parents also asked me what I wanted if something happened and I couldnt make healthcare decisions for myself. At first I thought, Im too young to talk about this, but I realize it was a great conversation to have.”
“As I look back, I realize my father gave us a gift when he was dying. He had enough time to understand his healthcare options and to make decisions about the medical care he would receive during his illness. He asked my aunt to serve as his healthcare power of attorney, to honor his choices and to ensure our familys traditions and beliefs were respected. Its a difficult time when your parent dies, but his gift to us made it easier because we knew we were fulfilling his wishes.”
“When I became pregnant a few months ago, everything changed. I realized my husband and I needed to make some decisions, in case, heaven forbid, something happened to me as a result of an injury or illness and I couldnt communicate my healthcare choices. I began the conversation about my advance care plan options with my doctor. Then my husband and I talked about everything. Knowing that if anything happened to us our children would be taken care of has given us peace of mind and one less thing to worry about.”
“Im a volunteer, and I love helping others. Thats why it was easy for me to begin the conversation about organ donation. I signed up to be an organ donor during a visit to my local DMV. It was quick and easy, and is my final service to others. And by talking about my end-of-life wishes with my loved ones, I have helped them find peace in knowing how much this can help other families. For me, there is no greater gift than giving the gift of life to others.”
“Im 77 years old and take care of my husband. When we found out he had a year to live, we began the conversation about what will be important to him as the end draws near. We discussed his healthcare options and our doctor helped him complete a Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) form so we know hell get the treatment he wants.We also agreed we would use hospice services. Now we can concentrate on making the most of our time together.”