Health Tip: Making End-of-Life Decisions

What every family should know

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(HealthDay News) -- As we have seen in the news recently, end-of-life decisions can pull families apart if the patient's wishes haven't been made clear beforehand. Americans plan for most everything in life, but seem to avoid planning for death.

The Family Caregiver Alliance offers these suggestions, whether you are caring for someone who is incapacitated, or making decisions for yourself:

  • Whom do you want to make decisions for you if you are not able to make your own, both on financial matters and health-care issues? The same person may not be right for both.
  • What medical treatments and care are acceptable to you? Are there some that you fear?
  • Do you wish to be resuscitated if you stop breathing or your heart stops?
  • Do you want to be hospitalized or stay at home if you are seriously or terminally ill?
  • How will your care be paid? Do you have adequate insurance? What might you have overlooked that will be costly at a time when your loved ones are distracted by grieving over your condition or death?
  • What actually happens when you die? Will your loved ones be prepared for the decisions they may have to make?

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