- Put your wishes in writing – A booklet called "Courage in Conversation" includes all the legal documents required by the State of Ohio, including Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney forms. A worksheet walks through the process step-by-step. The guide is available at no cost by calling 216-383-2222. It can also be downloaded at http://www.hospicewr.org/plan. Legal requirements vary by state. Advance directives for other states can be downloaded at www.caringinfo.org.
- Pick the right time for your talk - Consider bringing up the subject when you have a "captive audience," such as a long car ride. You might say: "This isn't easy for me to talk about. I know it's hard for you to think about, too… But it's important to my peace of mind."
- Ask a family member for help – Saying, "I need your help with something" can be a good way to break the ice. Explain that you don't want to burden them with difficult decisions later.
- Share a story about someone else - It could be someone you know, or have heard about whose wishes were not known, like the national case several years ago that led to a painful legal battle between family members. Discussing someone other than yourself will make the conversation less scary and may encourage them to open up.
- Share information in small segments - Allow time for family members to digest the information. Don't rush things. Realistically, you will probably need several discussions. Remember, your goal right now is simply to start the process.
5 Steps Anyone Can Take To Make Their Healthcare Wishes Known
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