Having a conversation about hospice care may not be the easiest conversation for a terminally ill patient, but it is one of the most important conversations. Don’t wait until it is too late to make decisions about your hospice care or to take advantage of the benefits of hospice care services.
If diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, it is important that you answer questions such as:
What kind of treatments or life-saving measures would you consent to or refuse?
If you were not able to make hospice care decisions for yourself, who would you want to make them for you?
What if a family member has to make your hospice care decisions, will he or she know what you want?
It may not be easy, but we advise that you discuss your hospice medical treatments with family members. If you fail to discuss the topic and you were unexpectedly incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself, your medical wishes would never be known.
Despite the topic’s importance, less than 50% of Americans report having discussed with their families about hospice care. The best way to make your medical wishes known is to create an advance health care directive and share it with your family and your doctor.
An advance health care directive, also known as living will, personal directive, advance directive, or advance decision, is a legal document in which a person specifies what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity.