In this episode of the Care Dimensions Learning Institute's podcast of Living Forever, Not an Option, our hosts, Lyn Skarmeas and Mary Crowe, pose the question: “Can you imagine not being in control of your major life decisions?” With this question comes this episode’s topic; being in control of your healthcare wishes before others make the decision for you. We all want to have control over our lives --whether it’s what college to attend or what to name our child -- so why would we not want to be in control of our healthcare wishes when the time comes?
In this episode, Mary and Lyn discuss the importance of having an advance directive (health care proxy, MOLST, living will, etc.) and having the discussion of what our healthcare wishes/preferences are in advance for when the day may come that we are not able to speak for ourselves. People often avoid this topic for any number of reasons, but by not addressing it, it can create a situation where people are making healthcare decisions on your behalf that do not align with your preferences. By not having these important discussions, it can create a tremendous burden for those trying to determine what you may have wanted in the situation. Choosing a health care agent wisely who will be your voice when the time comes when you cannot speak for yourself and having those important discussions in advance around healthcare preferences are critically important.
Our hosts recommend that you should complete an advance directive as soon as possible, regardless of your state of health. “Only 30% of people have an advance directive, meaning 70% of the population have not planned ahead,” explained Lyn. Advance directives are not just for those who are facing a serious or advanced illness, they are for anyone who is 18 years of age or older.
Listen to the podcast (click here)
Learn more about advance directives on our Planning Ahead web page.
Watch our Timing is Everything television show that provides an overview of advance directives and how to find free planning resources (click here).
About the author:
Veronica Giarla is a marketing assistant working with the Care Dimensions Learning Institute.