In the face of fears and worries about end of life, it can actually be reassuring and empowering to plan for what you would chose if you became gravely ill. Advance planning provides an opportunity to think carefully through your options and choices. It’s a gift to your family, and vital to our local providers who want to honor your health care goals.
Complete a Health Care Directive: To make sure your wishes are known even if you can’t speak for yourself, complete a Health Care Directive and choose a health care agent. You can find forms and information at www.lightthelegacy.org or click on "How to Complete a Health Care Directive" below. Care Partners’ Care Coordinators can help you understand the choices or complete the form. Care Partners staff can also mail out forms, help you with them on-line and assist you in making sure your forms are on file at the clinic and hospital. You can call Care Partners at 387-3788 for assistance.
Consider a POLST: If you wish to limit treatment options, if you have a high-risk chronic health condition or if you might choose to die at home, you should consider working with your health care provider to complete a POLST form. It's kept at home with you and is the only form that allows Emergency Responders to follow your wishes for less treatment. Care Partner's Care Coordinators can help you think through the POLST form and answer any additional questions you have. This form should also be signed by your health care provider.
Do you want help thinking about end-of-life, or your legacy, or what you would want to resolve or say to your loved ones while it is easier to do so? You can contact your minister or call Care Partners to connect with a Care Coordinator or one Cook County's End of Life Doulas.
It will relieve your mind and ease the burden decision-making for your family and health care providers.
Here's a video message about the importance of health care planning from Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Dr. Jenny Delfs:
Not sure how to bring up the subject of advance care planning with a spouse, parent or other loved one? The folks at The Conversation Project understand...here's a video that may offer some encouragement!