What's the first step toward a positive approach to the end of life? At any age, it means opening up conversations about your wishes, identifying someone to represent you should you no longer be able to express your wishes, and knowing what medical expertise and community support are available to help you complete on advance core directive.
The EOLCP suggests these four tips in exploring those first steps in a most personal and critical health care decision:
The first step is to become familiar with the issue of end-of-life care planning and the options involved:
- Watch "Passing On," Arizona Public Media's Emmy-award winning documentary on end-of-life-care and planning, as well as other resources.
- The EOLCP September kickoff event featured a leading voice in the interdisciplinary movement to improve end-of-life experiences. Dr. Jessica litter's work includes the Oscar-nominated documentary "Extremis." Her new book - "Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life" is both a practical guide to navigating the health care system and a powerful argument for re-imagining end-of-life care planning to ensure a fulfilling experience that adheres to our wishes. Read this book to explore your relationship with the living and dying.
Talking about mortality isn't the easiest conversation, but it's an important one. There are resources to help you get started:
- Let's Talk starter kits are available from The Conversation Project
- Receive news from EOLCP about speakers and resources or to attend a community education workshop to learn how to approach end-of-life conversations with family or friends.
- Learn about local Death Cafe meetings
Advance care plans ore written instructions about what kind of care you do and do not won't, and who can speak for you if you are unable to communicate your wishes. In Arizona, these documents are recognized:
- The official State of Arizona Life Care Planning Packet. This pocket includes a form to designate your healthcare power of attorney.
- Five Wishes. This form will be available free of charge at EOLCP community education workshops.
Your Advance Directive should be easy to locate in case of emergency so that others clearly understand your wishes. Update the document regularly, and give a copy to:
- Your health care power of attorney
- Primary care physician or other healthcare providers
- Family members
- The Arizona Advance Directive Registry is a free registry to electronically store and access your medical directives