HOW TO GET STARTED ………. TO BE ORGANIZED
Here are some important guidelines on how become a responsible partner and learn to control your health decisions. All of us need to be the manager of our own health, or we need a family member or advocate who is familiar with our health situation.
Be Prepared, a three-ring binder will help you keep track of your doctors, nurses, and insurance issues, as well as your medications. Keep all information Current. When you list your medications add Over the Counter as well. Take your up to date note book with you so that when you write down your questions leave space for answers and have the MD stay until you understand his answers
Embrace Your Mortality – When we recognize the process of life we can choose to live our life according to what we value, what is important to each of us? Life is meant to be fulfilling, meant to be enjoyed. By recognizing that life is not infinite, we are able to better focus on what makes life meaningful in each of our lives and living the life we want instead of waiting until “later” to enjoy our lives. Aging with Dignity PO Box 1661 Tallahassee, FL
Decide what is MOST Important To You and what are you willing to give up getting it? When we are active participants in our healthcare, life has more meaning and fulfillment. The Guide to Talk with your Doctor NIH Institute on Aging Brochure number No.05-3452 is a great help. If you are concerned that you may not be able to ask, take a family member of a friend who will be willing to make sure you get your answers.
Ask questions that are focused on the significance of illness or condition. Your physician may focus on the disease process. The more important focus, for you, is likely what is the significance of the illness or condition in your life; how may it impact your ability to do the things your love to do? A helpful Guide is NIH publication NO.08-7105 MD’s Talking with Older Patients
Ask your family what they understand about your wishes. Use advance care directives as a starting point for the conversation – Five Wishes is an excellent resource to open the conversation about what each of us wants for our future. It allows a person to specify what matters to them, in writing, so that there is no confusion in the future. These conversations can be hard and families do not like talking about “bad things” but understanding one another’s goals and wishes can avoid a great deal of stress and uncertainty in the future
FIVE WISHES is available through Aging with Dignity PO Box 1661 Tallahassee, FL 32302 or can be obtained locally (free of charge) from Hospice & Palliative Care Palmetto Region (HPCPR) by calling at 803 548 3708 ask for Melissa. HPCPR is available to provide one-on-one discussion regarding Five Wishes or for small group discussion as well (free of charge).
Decide who will have a say in what happens to you if you cannot speak for yourself….…but only choose person to make decisions for you. Because being the decision maker for a loved one can be difficult; it’s important to choose someone, who understands your goals and wishes and is willing to follow through on what you want. Choose someone you trust to make decisions, on your behalf, should you be unable to speak for yourself. Often times family members disagree on what decisions should be made and allow emotions to speak, having one person named, whom you trust to carry out your wishes, guarantees that what you want is respected. Info available through Education in Palliative and Ed-of-Life Care (EPEC) 750 N Lake Shore Dr Suite 601 Chicago IL 60661
This information is made available by Hospice & Palliative Care of Palmetto Region