My Mom tries to have this conversation with me that starts, “Shannon, if something bad happens…”
I usually cut her off. “Mom I am not ready to talk about this yet; we have time.”
The truth is if something unforeseen happens, I am not clear on her wishes.
There are many reasons any of us may need help with caring for our personal, financial, and health needs. The most common are part of the aging process. Estate planning, durable power of attorney, trustees, living wills, and guardianship all sound daunting, but their true purpose is to find the best means to care for those in need. This is possible by planning ahead now.
A health care durable power of attorney can be any person 18 or older who you trust to make health care decisions for you. Anyone taking on the role of power of attorney, trustee, or guardian (whether they be a family member, a professional, or court-appointed) should be a good communicator and have the loyalty and commitment to follow your wishes to the best of their ability.
An estate planner can help you and those close to you understand important information, but can be expensive. Aging and Adult Care offices of Central Washington has a living will kit called “Five Wishes,” which is a legal way to document who you want to take care of you, what kind of medical treatment you want, how comfortable you want to be, how you want to be treated, and what you want your loved ones to know. That is a great option for making your wishes known.
At Health Alliance Medicare, we work hard to try to take good care of our member’s physical and mental health to ensure they have the most graceful golden years possible. We also encourage you to think ahead to make future health care decisions that are in your best interest. This includes tackling the tough subjects, such as end of life care. From what I have learned the topic, though hard to discuss, is too important put off.
I am going to start by asking, “Mom, just in case something bad happens…what are your wishes?”
Shannon Sims is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. She has four adult sons and two grandsons. During her time off, she performs as part of a rodeo drill team on her horse, Skeeter.