A Resolution for 2015

| By Jodi Horton

advance directivesMany of us this week will be thinking about New Year’s Eve plans, another year gone by, getting a little bit older, and we’ll resolve to make a change. The change might be to lose those last 10 pounds, to be a little kinder, to exercise more and eat healthier. Those are good goals, but we have another resolution idea for you. This year, we suggest resolving to complete or update your advance directives, and encouraging family members to do the same.

Advance directives are an opportunity for you to state your wishes for your health care when you are unable to make your own medical decisions. It gives your physicians and your family members the guidance they need to make decisions that respect your wishes. Casa de la Luz Foundation provides free copies of Five Wishes, an advance directive document legally recognized in 42 states. The Five Wishes can also be completed online, and then saved, printed, and e-mailed to the necessary individuals.

Advance directives are gift to the loved ones who might have to make your medical decisions. This opens the door to honest conversations about our expectations and hopes for end-of-life care. Would your loved one want a feeding tube? Ventilator? Hospice care? These are the answers you can have by talking to family members and friends and completing the Five Wishes or another recognized advance directive document.

We want you to make this part of your New Year’s resolutions because it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, because you never know what a year might bring, and because this is the first step in being comfortable with the topic of dying and death. Advance directives can help ease fears, indecision, and uncertainty.

This is one resolution we hope you’ll keep.

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