As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, there has rightly been a lot of focus on the immediate and urgent needs of those suffering with COVID-19 and their caregivers. Something else is also happening. People of all ages – from grandparents, to parents, to adult grandchildren – are giving thought to what would be most important during a time of serious illness or health crisis. What would happen if you need care in the hospital? Who would make decisions for you if you can’t? What could be done to protect your human dignity and maintain comfort? These are important questions, and the coronavirus is prompting many people to take action..
Aging with Dignity has spent nearly 25 years helping families have these kinds of discussions, and thanks to Five Wishes, America's most popular and easy-to-understand and use advance care planning program, many know exactly what their loved one’s wishes are.
With life coming to a near standstill in America, it’s time to have these important conversations with the people who mean the most to you. To ask them about the kind of medical care they want or don't want in times of serious illness. If you haven't had those conversations yet, now is the time.
Our prayers are with the families currently dealing with COVID-19 and other serious illnesses, particularly those who have lost a loved one. All of us in some way have been impacted by the uncertainties related to this dangerous virus. For some, it means cancelled travel plans or events. For others, it means lost work. For those in healthcare, it means bracing for unknown clinical challenges. For families with loved ones in senior care facilities, it means limited visits.
No matter how you are affected, you have a chance now to be prepared in case you or your loved ones face serious illness. So get a Five Wishes and seek out the people who matter most to you, and start with the following messages:
• There's been something on my mind and now is a good time to bring it up
• You matter to me and I care about you
• You can count on me to be there for you
• I want to do the right things for you when you need them the most
• I don't know your wishes so please tell me them so I can honor them whether I agree with them or not.
Use any one of those statements as an opening to a conversation if the subject turns to the coronavirus or related issues.
If that approach doesn't work, go to the Five Wishes conversation tips to get the ball rolling.
Our prayers are with you. We’re all in this together.