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Make 2017 The Year You Give Your Loved Ones – And Yourself – Peace of Mind

Everyone deserves to live life on their own terms and in the way they think best. Unfortunately, sometimes illness or injury interfere and force people into unexpected decisions.

To guarantee your quality of life regardless of what the future holds, learn about your options and communicate your end-of-life wishes today. Doing so guarantees that no matter what circumstances arise, your preferences guide decisions.

While the benefits of advanced care planning are undeniable, taking action can be difficult. “Advance care planning can be an emotional subject, so our goal has always been to create a level of comfort surrounding end-of-life issues and encourage people in our community to begin having these important conversations with their family members,” says Susan de Cuba, president and CEO of Treasure Coast Hospice. “The best time to make plans for your care or the care of a loved one is before you are faced with a medical crisis.”

Here’s some basic information to get you started and to help you secure peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.

Advance Directive

This is what you ultimately want to create: an advance directive is a written statement that describes your wishes, preferences, and choices regarding end-of-life health care decisions. It’s a tool that can help you think through and communicate your choices so they’re accessible to concerned parties in the event that you’re unable to speak for yourself.

What to Include

Some of the things to consider during advance care planning that you might want to include in your advance directive are:

  • In the event of chronic or serious illness, would you want to pursue every medical avenue available to you?
  • What type of pain control do you want and when should it be administered?
  • Do you want to set limits on the type and length of medical treatment?

Consider Using “Five Wishes®” To Get Started

“Five Wishes” is an easy-to-use legal document template written in simple language that helps you plan and communicate how you want to be cared for if you become seriously ill. It helps you express your desires in personal, spiritual, medical and legal matters and meets the legal requirements for an advance directive in 42 states including Florida.

Carefully planning what you would want in the event of a life-limiting illness helps ensure that your care is in keeping with your values and that your wishes are respected. By having those conversations today, you can give yourself and your family peace of mind, regardless of what the future holds.

To learn more about Five Wishes® or to schedule a presentation about advanced care planning for your group or community, please visit Treasure Coast Hospice at http://www.tchospice.org/hospice/five-wishes.

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