What You Should Consider When Making End Of Life Decisions

Death is a fact of life, which we all too readily like to forget. However, if we and our loved ones, don’t take the time to plan for this reality, it can turn into an overwhelming experience that could’ve easily been avoided. If any of your loved ones are approaching the end of their lives, there are some steps that you and they can take to ease the pain of the situation.

Planning

Most of us want to end our lives with dignity. Unfortunately, when someone becomes too sick to be able to make the choices they want, the decisions are often moved to their immediate family, who may not make the choices the person would have wanted, or who may not be equipped for the emotional time this will place on them.

One of the most effective ways to plan for this time is to have an advanced care directive in place, which communicates exactly what your end of life wishes are to your doctor and nurse. If possible, you can also give someone medical enduring power of attorney, which empowers them on a legal basis to follow through on your written directive, when the time comes.

Regardless of how you wish to proceed with this phase, it is important to have the discussion with your family and close friends. It may not be the easiest time in your life, but the support and understanding of your loved ones can be of tremendous help during this time.

Some considerations

When planning to get your advanced medical directive in place, there are some factors you need to consider:

  • Ensure that if you have an advanced care directive, that your loved ones and relevant caregivers know where it is.
  • Ask your palliative care team how they plan to treat you in your final period. Ensure that you receive specific information.
  • Keep in mind that treatments for the terminal or late stages of illness are given to reduce symptoms, and never to end or shorten lives.
  • Most strong painkillers can have a sedative effect. If you wish to remain awake, you can specify these wishes to your medical team, who will respect them.
  • Think about the use of tubes used for feeding or the providing of fluids. Some of these instruments can cause discomfort, and you can have a choice over their use.

For more information about palliative care for you or your loved one, contact MACG today.

Related Tag: Aged Care Bayside