So many of us want to imagine that we will live forever and nothing difficult or sad will ever happen to us or our loved ones. Unfortunately, that is impossible, and we have to help prepare ourselves and our families to weather the storms that will eventually come. When we think seriously about it, many of us find that we would prefer to pass the last days of our lives, whenever that may be, at home surrounded by friends and family. This scenario is possible with a little forethought.
In honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day (April 16), I want to remind everyone that thinking about your healthcare wishes and building a plan is a gift you give yourself and your family. Thankfully, with a little planning and discussion, a peaceful death at home is an option. Thanks to the Medicare Hospice Benefit, many Americans can meet the end on their terms, in a way that suits them, their families, and their beliefs. Planning for your end-of-life journey doesn’t have to be sad but rather an affirmation of how you want to live until the very end. Hospice providers are available to help.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s CaringInfo.com website is a great resource and includes Advance Directive paperwork to help you record your advance care plans. Living your last days on your terms with high-quality care and support is an option for you and your family. I encourage you to take time during National Healthcare Decisions Day and give thought to your plans and share them with those close to you. It will be time well spent.
JEAN LOO-RUSSO, Escondido