Most families probably agree that advance care planning is important. Knowing what a loved one’s wishes are in the event of a sudden accident or illness can help make a difficult situation a little less stressful. The problem is that few of us know how to tackle this difficult topic. It is awkward and uncomfortable and forces conversations we’d rather not have. Fortunately, there is a tool called Five Wishes that can help make this process a little easier on everyone. The document is recognized as a living will in 42 of the 50 states, including in Missouri and Illinois.
Five Wishes Helps with End-of-Life Conversations
Five Wishes helps in a variety of ways. It is a comprehensive, step-by-step tool that makes it easier to have conversations with family, friends and physicians. The document allows you to convey your wishes by checking boxes or circling choices, without much writing required.
The tool covers five core areas important in end-of-life planning:
- Naming the person you want to be your health care agent
- Defining what kinds of medical treatment you do and don’t want and how much
- Sharing how comfortable you want to be kept
- Explaining how you want people to treat you
- Sharing what you want loved ones to know about your beliefs, wishes and final arrangements
Five Wishes can be used by anyone age 18 or older.
Aging with Dignity
The organization that developed Five Wishes is Aging with Dignity. Through their site you can complete the Five Wishes forms online or order print copies to be sent to your home. Five Wishes Online uses a secure server to allow you to complete the document online and print a copy out when you are done. You will also have the option of emailing the completed document to loved ones and your physician. A helpful video is available to walk you through the process. You can also order print copies of Five Wishes online for $5.00 each or $1.00 each for 25 or more copies.
End-of-life issues are never comfortable, but this document streamlines the process in a way that makes the conversation easier.