Advance Directives for San Diego Caregivers

With the New Year brings all sorts of resolutions. For me, one resolution is sitting down and completing advance directives for myself, as well as having “the talk” with my parents.

I never thought I’d have to think much about advance directives at my age – for myself or anyone else. I knew my parents had wills but I realized recently that I had no idea as to what was important to them at the end-of-life, other than they wanted to be cremated when they die. But what would happen if they became seriously ill? How would my parents want to be cared for? Do they want to be kept alive on a machine? Do they want to die at home? These are questions that my parents and I never really thought about or discussed in detail.

Then I realized that I had no directive to my family, as to what I would want, should I have a terminal illness or have an accident that left me unable to speak for myself.

One thing that I came across that will help me with this conversation was a simple form you can order from the Internet called Five Wishes. It’s practically a will within itself and lets your family or caregiver know who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them, the kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want, how comfortable you want to be, how you want your caregiver to treat you, and what you want your loved ones to know.

I initially had the “the talk” with my parents and it wasn’t as scary or uncomfortable as I thought it would be. It actually gave me a little peace of mind. So in 2010, taking control of heathcare decision making for me and my family starts with completing advance directives.

For caregivers and anyone living in San Antonio or Texas, download the advance directives form for free in English or Spanish.

Jill Ruff is a wife, mother of two girls ages 5 and 3, daughter, sister and caregiver; working full-time as a marketing director and living in the Carmel Valley area of San Antonio, CA.

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