Sadie Says …

Answers to frequently asked questions about safe driving

Q. Why is it important to discuss my end-of-life decisions with family and or friends?

A. One of the hardest conversations to have with loved ones and friends is about the end of one’s life. Yet it is one of the most necessary discussions one should have.

Statistics indicate that

• 90 percent of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important; 27 percent have actually done so.

• 60 percent of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important”; 56 percent have not communicated their end-of-life wishes.

• 80 percent of people say that, if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about wishes for medical treatment toward the end of life; 7 percent report having had this conversation with their doctor.

• 82 percent of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing; 23 percent have actually done it.

• (Sources for statistics include: Survey of Californians by the California HealthCare Foundation 2012 and The Conversation Project National Survey 2013)

So the question is “Have You Had the Conversation?”

This is a conversation that can make all the difference. Talking with your loved ones openly and honestly before a medical crisis happens gives everyone a shared understanding about what matters most to you at the end of life.

You need to have the conversation with yourself first, which can assist you in developing what is important to you for your discussion. Think about what is most important to you and how you want to live at the end of your life.

The cliche — what you don’t know can’t hurt you — does hurt you when it comes to these decisions if you don’t tell. You must make decisions while you can and share those decisions with loved ones — so your loved ones are in the know.

The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. They offer a Starter Kit on their website for these conversations.

Information about the Conversation Project and Starter Kit is referenced on these webpages:https://theconversationproject.org/starter-kits/.

Sadie Says is brought to you by the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition.

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