Some of the toughest questions caregivers face arise when our loved ones are unable to talk with us in a meaningful way. The process known as Advance Care Planning (or “Advance Healthcare Directive”) helps us to talk about the kinds of medical procedures we want—and those we don’t want—as we near the end of life. If you are caring for a loved one, this is something you may want to undertake now. And, if you’re a veteran caregiver, then you know what can happen. You should complete one for yourself.
In 2014, we plan to share occasional short videos with our readers. Some excellent videos are being produced by healthcare providers, nonprofit groups and leading authors. We plan to bring you only the best we’ve spotted. You can help by recommending a good video. Stop by my Facebook page, where it’s easy to share ideas with me, anytime.
The hospital-system team that produced this video was coordinated by Drew Weil, a friend of our WeAreCaregivers project. When the video was recently released, Drew recommended it to us. He writes that his team felt compelled to make this particular video because, “A recent study by The Conversation Project found that most Americans know they should have a conversation about their healthcare—yet less than half of us have done so. When we do this, we leave decisions up to family members, loved ones, or doctors who may not know our wishes.”
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The video provides a link to one website offering free materials for Advance Care Directives. Depending on where you are seeing today’s column, you will want to ask about this process in your own region. For our overseas readers: This Wikipedia article on Advance Care Directives explains some of the variation people find in these policies around the world.
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