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Kindness on Paper — It’s ‘Code’ for Completing a Health Care Directive

Published in Advance Care Planning, Women's Services, Senior Services, Home Health Services, Hospice Services, Palliative Care, Men's Health, For the Health of It Author: Lori Braegelmann, Advance Care Planning Program Manager

Trying to make important decisions for someone during a time of medical crisis is traumatic. Do you know what Mom wanted? Did Dad say if he wanted to be kept on life support? Did your partner tell you which interventions he or she want or doesn’t want?

Often patients say their loved ones “know” what they would want. But when the family members are asked, they have no idea. Or loved ones admit there have been conversations, but they have a tough time recalling the specific details. It can be quite difficult to remember those conversations from months or years ago amid a critical situation where immediate answers are being sought or family members are under a high amount of stress and anticipatory grief. Personal values and wishes that are important can easily get lost in the turmoil.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Conversations with our loved ones about what is most important to us are vital. Equally important though are the written road maps — Health Care Directives. Written plans turn potential gray areas into black or white. See the Top 10 Reasons to Complete a Health Care Directive.

The best chance of putting your wishes in motion and minimizing the uncertainty for your loved ones is a Health Care Directive. It’s kindness on paper!

See how to complete a Health Care Directive.