Give the gift of peace of mind to those you love.
No one likes to think about their wishes for care at the end of life. Having a conversation about your values and what you want or do not want to happen in the event of a terminal illness or catastrophic accident may be the best gift you give your family.
It is heart-wrenching to see family members at the bedside in intensive care trying to figure out what ‘mom’ would have wanted them to say when the doctor asks questions like, “Should we put a tube into your mother’s stomach to feed her? Do you want to have her life continue on a breathing machine, though she may never live? Should we withdraw life support?”
The best time to learn what your loved one wants is BEFORE a crisis occurs. What a gift! If the conversation is too difficult to start, take an opportunity when you see a situation in your community or on the news. Start the conversation.
It might go something like this, “You know mom, I saw that situation on TV the other day where they kept someone alive through breathing machines and tube feedings. I’m not sure what I think of being kept alive like that, what do you think?”
Or, “Jane, I talked to someone in church about a situation where their father was being kept alive by breathing machines. I want you to know if I am ever in a situation like that where I can’t recover, I do not want to be kept alive by machines. I love you and don’t want you to worry. I would like to be allowed the dignity to die naturally.”
To give your family peace of mind, talk to your doctor about your wishes and document through a Living Will what your wishes are.
It’s a simple formula for peace of mind.
- Have the conversation with your loved ones and your doctor.
- Complete an Advance Directive.
Advance Directive forms are available through the West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care and the Ohio Advance Directives Packet. Instructions and frequently asked questions are available to make the process quick and easy. To ensure that your wishes for end of life care are known and followed, once you have completed the forms, send to the e-directory so that hospitals and ambulances can access your Advance Directive.