End of Life Planning

THINK TALK WRITE - end of life planning

Planning for a Good Death

THINK about your death

  • Ponder and envision it
  • Gather information about dying
  • Do some preliminary planning

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TALK about your wishes

  • With your partner/closest friend
  • With family, friends, doctor, spiritual advisor
  • Confirm with your proxy

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WRITE your wishes

  • Complete advance directive
  • Sign and date
  • Notarize or witness
  • Distribute copies

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Unfortunately most of us don’t think about dying and so we skip the planning. Failure to plan can easily lead to a bad death, whereas planning ahead greatly improves your chances of a good death.

Many agree that the following are bad deaths: Being tied to tubes and beeping machines that really don’t do much for you; dying alone in a sterile room, without family around. Or spending months, even years, bedridden and unable to read much or watch television. Or spending years in an institution for demented patients, many of whom don’t know their family or what they had for breakfast. A good death is dying at home with family around, and being alert enough to be able to appreciate both home and family.

To plan for a good death, read this web site, read and listen to or watch some of the resources listed here, and go on line to find even more. This is the THINKING part. The most important and the most difficult step is the TALKING part. The last, easiest step is WRITING your advance health care directive.

Please, don’t rush and do only your advance directive. And don’t let your lawyer, doctor or hospital rush you, either. Take the days or weeks needed to do it right.

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