Final Decisions and Preparation for End-of-Life Care

This past week, we’ve given an introduction to end-of-life care and said what can (and needs to) be done in order to plan for appropriate end-of-life care.

While end-of-life care is certainly a difficult subject to discuss, careful planning for the final stages of life can help put you and your loved ones at ease.

For our last segment on end-of-life care, we’ve outlined several decisions that need to be considered during end-of-life care. Taking the time to make these decisions help to ease an already difficult process, allowing you and your family to devote more time and energy to providing comfort to a loved one in their final stages of life.

Once you and your loved one have made the decision to begin end-of-life care, it is important to make the necessary arrangements as early as possible. These may include:

Assessing end-of-life wishes

It is always important to consider the spiritual practices and memorial traditions of your loved one. Be sure to ask what they are most comfortable with–having their input will put you and your family at ease, knowing that you are fulfilling your loved ones wishes.

Choosing a primary decision maker

Once your loved ones end-of-life wishes have been assessed, it may be necessary to designate one family member as the primary decision maker who will manage information and coordinate family involvement and support. Proper communication and coordination make it easier to make final decisions.

If your loved one has expressed a preference as to who should take lead, please take that into consideration.

Making financial and legal arrangements

One way to ensure that your loved ones wishes are properly understood is by seeking financial and legal advice. Legal documents such as a living will, power of attorney, or advance directive can set forth a patients wishes for future health care so that family members are all clear about their loved ones preferences. This in turn can prevent unnecessary family conflicts that prevent you from devoting your time to providing comfortable living for your loved one.

Other considerations:

Sudden end-of-life decisions 

Unfortunately, some loved ones are unable to express their final wishes due to a number of reasons. Should this occur, you may consider the following:

  • Consider conversations in the past that may have indicated their final wishes
  • Consider treatment, placement, and decisions about dying from the patients vantage point
  • Seek medical and legal advice for the best possible outcome

Involving children

Although involving children may be a very difficult choice to make, some families feel that it is necessary. Should you choose to do so, Helpguide.org suggests explaining the events in terms they can grasp. These may include: storytelling, drawing pictures, or using puppets to simulate feelings.

We know end-of-life care can be difficult, but it is important to keep in mind that these decisions are meant to help provide care and comfort for your loved one.

If you are unsure about where to start, we are here to help. At Encompass, our comprehensive assessments and living strategies for seniors allow families to make informed decisions about the appropriate next steps–making a significant impact in their lives as well and in the lives of their loved ones.

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!

photo credit: Oceans of Lilim via photopin cc

“Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.private-duty.pchhc.com.”