Australian Medical Association President, Dr Michael Gannon, stated on 20th May 2018, “All Australians should consider planning for their end of life care, so that their families and doctors know their wishes. Australians need to plan ahead for their end of life care and discuss it with their loved ones and health professionals”.
When caregivers and family members are clear about their loved one’s preferences for treatment in the final stages of life, they are free to devote their energies towards care and compassion.
To ensure that everyone in the family understands the person’s wishes, it’s important to discuss their feelings with their family before the loss of their decision making capabilities or a medical crisis occurs.
‘Your Life Talks’ aim is to provide families with an easier, more ‘non-confrontational’ way of having those sometimes ‘difficult’ conversations about their plans for their future health care and end of life wishes. Our Conversation Starter Cards & Booklet ‘Your Life Wishes’ cover a much broader base than end of life care issues alone…the include the journey from losing mobility & independence, health care & accommodation choices, end of life care through to estate and funeral plans. Example questions –
• Have you prepared Powers of Attorney for financial, medical & guardianship matters? If not, who would you want to fulfil these important roles?
• Under what circumstances (if any), would you be prepared to enter a nursing home or aged care facility?
• If you are diagnosed with a terminal condition, how much information would you want your family to know?
• Are there any medical treatments that are inconsistent with your personal preferences?
• Have you pre-paid for your funeral arrangements or do you have funeral insurance/bonds? If so, with whom?
These meaningful conversations should be started as early as possible, when we are fit and healthy and can make clear minded decisions.
Dr Gannon stated, “For those facing a life-limiting illness, telling your doctor ‘what matters most’ assists the doctor in developing clinical care plans aimed at upholding your goals of care. Telling your family, or substitute decision-maker, ‘what matters most’ to you means they can make decisions consistent with your wishes should they have to make decisions on your behalf in the future”.
Visit our Shop to purchase our ‘Your Life Wishes’ Conversation Starter Cards & Booklets