The end of life is complicated. More than two million people on Medicare die every year.
Each of them requires their own end of life care plan, even if many of them share similar health problems. Yet few people have a plan, let alone a detailed one.
What is a living will, and why is it so important? What should you do when planning for hospice care? What are your options for burial and funeral arrangements?
Answer these questions and you can get the treatment you deserve throughout your life. Here is your quick guide.
A living will is a legal document that describes the writer’s end of life plan. Its primary objective is to lay out what kinds of care a person wants to deal with their medical problems.
But it also defines what sorts of treatment a person does not want. It can contain a DNR notice, asking doctors not to resuscitate the individual. It can discuss organ donation and pain management steps.
Anyone who is starting advance care planning should draft a living will. They should go to a lawyer for help.
Hospice care provides comfort to someone approaching the end of their life. It is different from palliative care, which someone can have at any point in their life.
Hospice is designed for people who have less than six months to live. People receive pain relief, food, and mental support. Someone can meet with a chaplain, psychiatrist, or another mental health professional.
Someone who may rely on hospice care should describe what they want to have. They should pick a particular facility they want to go to and detail the treatments they want. This is important with pain management, which can involve the use of addictive medications.
Funeral and Burial Arrangements
A funeral and burial plan must be a part of anyone’s end of life nursing care plan. It is extremely difficult to plan a funeral after someone has died. Providing instructions before death will help make the process easier.
Most people opt for a full funeral service at a religious institution or funeral home. But someone can choose to have a celebration of life or a memorial service after burial.
There are more options for the disposition of remains than ever before. Someone can opt for a coffin burial, but they can go for an environmentally-friendly option like a shroud burial.
Cremation is becoming more popular over the years. But this way of burial requires cremation authorization through a written document that the deceased person signs. Anyone who wants cremation should prepare such a document in advance.
Also see: Cremation vs Burial
Draft Your End of Life Care Plan
An end of life care plan does not have to be complicated. Everyone should start with a living will that lays out what they want and what they do not want.
Someone should then look into hospice care. They should be as specific as possible, picking a treatment center they want to go to.
It is important to discuss funeral and burial arrangements. There are many options, so a person should describe in detail their desires.
Writing a care plan is just one way to prepare for the end of life. Find out more ways by following our coverage.