April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. Families talk about many issues, yet healthcare decisions are usually not part of the conversation. I encourage you to start the conversation. Online resources for conversation starters include www.caringinfo.org and www.agingwithdignity.org.
You might consider researching the Five Wishes Document. It uses plain language to help people make their wishes known regarding personal, emotional and spiritual issues as well as healthcare decisions.
The Five Wishes are: The person I want to make healthcare decisions for me when I cannot make decisions for myself; My wish for the kind of medical treatment I want or don’t want; My wish for how comfortable I want to be; My wish for how I want people to treat me; and My wish for what I want my family to know.
Spend time praying and pondering these decisions. Talk with your family about your desires so they know how to help you if you cannot make these decisions for yourself. Start the conversation and listen.
Teresa Bennani, Pawleys Island