It is not easy to talk about end of life care. However, it is one of the most important conversations patients can have with their loved ones. The vision of the Palliative Care team at North Mississippi Medical Center is for individuals to have a special conversation with family and friends that focuses on how patients want to live at the end of their lives. Too often, patients die in settings they did not choose, while receiving treatment they did not want, surrounded by people they do not know. As a result, family members are left feeling guilty and uncertain about the choices they made for treatment.
According to a national survey conducted by the Conversation Project, 92% of Americans say it is important to discuss end of life issues with loved ones, but only 32% have done so. Because a crisis can be emotional and overwhelming, NMMC believes the place for this discussion should begin in the privacy and comfort of one’s own home, rather than in a hospital or critical care unit. It is never too soon to have this talk with those you love.
Our goal at NMMC is to simplify this conversation and ensure every patient’s wishes are known and respected throughout the treatment process. The “Conversations Before the Crisis” booklet provides tools, guidance and resources to begin talking with loved ones about end of life wishes. It also serves as a means to provide peace of mind and comfort to family members who are making complicated medical decisions.
When preparing to have this conversation with loved ones, it is important to communicate:
• What Matters Most to You?
• What Are You Not Willing to Give Up?
• Who Will Make Decisions for You When You Cannot Speak for Yourself?
• What Do You Want Them to Know?
Don’t Wait! Have this conversation with loved ones today!
Links to Palliative Care Forms
Conversations Before the Crisis
Mississippi Power of Attorney and Advance Directive Form
Alabama Power of Attorney and Advance Directive Form