You don’t have to be over 65 to have a healthcare proxy or a long range health care plan. We at Hospice strongly recommend to everyone that’s over 18 years of age to have a healthcare proxy. How many times have we read news stories about people who have been in a terrible accident. That’s why we recommend children living away from home and those who are out on their own have a proxy just in case the unimaginable happens.
If you don’t know, advance directives are nothing more than a having an end-of-life plan in place that family, your healthcare team and friends know about. Why do we think this is important? Terminal patients and their families suffer from less stress when there is a plan in place. When there is less stress some patients live longer and just about all patients and their families have a better experience at this time of crisis.
It’s really not that hard to have the conversation about your wishes. First off, consider this: you are not talking about death…you talking about the last 6 months of life and making it the best that it can be. How much planning went into your wedding? Did you have multiple plans when it came to choosing a college? Chances are you have researched and planned more for your next car purchase than you have for your last six months on the planet.
Hospice doctors and nurses hear it all the time from patients “I don’t want to be a burden to my family.” If you had the conversation about your wishes with your family and doctor the burden of making decisions without your help wouldn’t exist. You can always call Hospice if you need help with advance directives the number is 315-634-1100. Here are some links that can also help you out: