As Baby Boomers and their parents age, the common issues surrounding aging focus on things like wills, estates and financial planning. These discussions can be difficult.
A far more difficult discussion are the quality of life needs and how to best prepare for how we live the last years of our lives.
- Would prefer to live the last years in your home?
- Who will speak for you when you can’t?
- Does your family understand what is most important to you?
- Do you have good relationship with your family doctor?
- Does your family also have a good relationship with your family doctor?
These last two questions may seem less important, but are more vital to help with this end life decisions.
We think our Doctor should now what’s best, and be prepared to discuss these issues when the time arises. But can you imagine how hard this can be. Add to this fact each family is different, each has a unique culture, and each patient has their own wishes, a good family meeting with the family Doctor is essential.
“These conversations may cover end-of-life topics, but they’re not only about end-of-life,” says Susan Block, chair of the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “They really focus around how people want to live, and what their priorities are, what’s important to them in terms of living with a progressive, serious illness.”
Check out the documentary from Frontline – “Being Mortal”, for great insights surrounding end of life, from the perspective of medical profession. Here is preview from YouTube
Check out the full documentary at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/being-mortal/.
Whether you are a baby boomer or a parent of one, don’t leave your end of life decisions to chance or up do some one else to decide. Make your wishes known. It makes the last years of your life easier for everyone.