What if I am healthy and just interested in the information for future reference?
You may still want to consider having a family discussion while filling out everyone’s Advance Healthcare Directives in case of an emergency situation. In most states, if you have a driver’s license, you’ve already decided whether to be an organ donor. The Advance Healthcare Directive is the next necessary step. It helps to hear different opinions to help you make up your mind and the Transition Coach is available to help you have those family conversations and provide information and resources. As your health changes or someone in your family and you have further questions, you’ve already established a relationship with the Transition Coach and can call for further coaching sessions as needed.
What if a family member has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal condition but is still undergoing aggressive treatment or is facing major surgical procedures?
Getting the proper legal paperwork in place is as important as having family discussions about your beliefs and values concerning end of life scenarios–- treatments, surgeries, procedures, medications, artificial feeding, resuscitation, life support and how the patient wants his last days to be if it comes to that. The Transition Coach is available to facilitate this process however it works within the family dynamic. You may need to find resources when the patient comes home or have questions about home health services or rehabilitation. The Coach will meet you where you’re at.
What if a family member has a progressive illness or is no longer physically or mentally able to live alone?
The longer the family puts off having these discussions, the more stressful it becomes on everyone– but there is a fine line between too soon and waiting too long because things can change suddenly. The Transition Coach can be available to provide resources and support to the patient and the caregivers to keep everyone on the same page and maintain the pace of the process of advance planning to mitigate stress on the family as a whole.
How do I talk to my children about end of life issues?
Your children may already be talking about these things. The Transition Coach can help you find age-appropriate resources to open The Conversation so you can convey your beliefs and values to them while appreciating that they may have different ideas. Diane offers a class to high school juniors in which she asks them to decide what are the most important things to them at the end of their lives in order to help them initiate “The Conversation” with their parents who themseles are reluctant to bring it up. The image below shows the results of asking several hundred students to rank their concerns.