In honor of November as National Hospice Month, APC is promoting the importance of thinking and talking about health care decisions well in advance of a serious illness or accident that may lead to someone being cared for by hospice.
Hospice offers relief from the pain and symptoms experienced by people living with advanced, serious illness. In addition to providing high-quality medical care, hospice provides psychosocial support and spiritual care to patients and their families. Hospice is available to anyone with a life-limiting illness when curative treatment is stopped.
Many people don’t want to think about end-of-life care until it is too late to talk about what they do or don’t want. In order for your family and medical professionals to help you achieve your goals, they need to know what’s most important to you.
- If a time comes when you can’t make your own health care decisions, which person would you want your doctor to talk to about your care?
- Are there specific kinds of medical treatment you do or don’t want?
- What is most important to you in terms of maintaining your comfort?
- Do you want to be cared for in your home, the home of a family member, or somewhere else?
- What are your moral or spiritual beliefs in relation to different types of medical care?
- Do you want your doctor to discuss hospice with you when they think a cure is no longer possible?
In recognition of how difficult it is for people to think about and discuss health care decisions, APC offers the nation’s most popular advance care planning resource, Five Wishes, as part of our clients’ financial plan. Five Wishes allows individuals and families to make important decisions in terms that are meaningful and understandable to them and helps patients and families to more effectively communicate their decisions to health care providers. In addition to important medical issues, Five Wishes addresses matters of the heart and soul (comfort, family relationships, dignity, and spirituality) and encourages people to be specific about their wishes in their own words.
Every adult, no matter their age or health status, should complete an advance directive. More information on Five Wishes is available online at agingwithdignity.org.