Planning for your farewell is not giving up hope — it's making preparations so you will "fare well," and it's giving your family support in saying farewell.
Too often, if a health crisis occurs, we do not have a power of attorney, an advanced directive, or the reassurance of prior conversations with our family about our wishes in case of illness or death.
By creating an advanced care plan, you will feel relief and satisfaction knowing you have completed valuable planning that gives guidance and security to those you love.
To help get your end-of-life wishes in order, here are documents to consider:
- A power of attorney informs agencies and institutions who can act on your behalf when you cannot, giving your family the authority to care for you.
- An advanced directive is a legal document that only goes into effect if you are unable to make your own health care decisions. This document explains your desires about treatment options (such as use of a breathing machine, feeding tube, etc.) and what type of medical care you want.
- Final planning pre-arranges your funeral or creates a guide so your family can carry out your farewell wishes. This reduces stress and varying perspectives on what should be done.
What if you don't want to upset your family by talking about this?
After completing these documents, it is important to have a conversation with your family about the decisions you have made. Reassure them that nothing is wrong. At any age, you could become too ill to make your own health care decisions. By talking about your wants and plans now, your family knows your wishes ahead of a life-threatening crisis.