National Healthcare Decisions Day 2014

| By Jodi Horton

Since National Healthcare Decisions Day is this Wednesday, we felt compelled to offer a little bit of education about advance directives and choosing a healthcare power of attorney for this week’s blog.

When it comes to advance directives, you can choose from plenty of different forms—POLST, state advance directives, Five Wishes. Because we distribute the Five Wishes, thanks to Casa de la Luz  Foundation, that’s the advance directive we’re going to talk about in this blog.

Five Wishes is provided by the Aging with Dignity organization, and it’s a living will that’s recognized in 42 states. It written in easy -to-understand language, and can help open families to conversations about treatment options at end-of-life and how a family member wants to be remembered and honored in death.

Here’s what the five wishes are:

  1. Identifying your healthcare power of attorney—the person who will make your healthcare decisions if you are unable to make speak for yourself
  2. Identifying the kinds of medical treatments you want or don’t want
  3. Clarifying how comfortable you want to be at end-of-life
  4. Describing how you want people to treat you at end-of-life
  5. Telling loved ones things you want them to know

Casa de la Luz Foundation distributes free copies of the Five Wishes in English and Spanish. The Five Wishes is available in multiple languages and bilingual copies. For a translated or bilingual version, it can be ordered from Aging with Dignity for $5.

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