Planning ahead takes on new meaning during COVID-19

04.17.2020

There’s never really a right time for us to discuss with our families what kind of medical care we want when we are nearing the end of our lives. Ideally, we’d like to be able to think clearly – at that time – and tell our doctors and our families what we want. But that’s not possible for everyone.
 
That’s why advance directives are so important. Not only because we may need them – but also because they give us an opportunity to make the decisions that clarify our personal definitions of quality of life.
 
There are no right or wrong answers. We are the only ones who can say how important it is to us to walk, feed ourselves or be able to breathe without a ventilator. We are the only ones who can decide how much pain is too much.
 
Making these decisions ahead of time takes the burden off our families – and our healthcare providers, who want to honor our wishes. To get started, we recommend you appoint a healthcare representative.
 
We have a number of resources at GoshenHealth.com/Plan-Ahead to help you. We’re also available to talk with you by phone at (574) 364-2288. Leave us a message and someone from our Acute Care Coordination team will call you back. Because of the COVID virus precautions, we are not able to schedule in person appointments at this time.
 
Another important resource is Honoring Choices Indiana-North Central. This organization has certified facilitators in Advance Care Planning who can Zoom, Face Time, SKYPE or use other media to help you complete your advance directives. For more information, call Stephen Chupp at (574) 243-2058.
 
Assistance from either Goshen Health or Honoring Choices is offered free.
 
Think of advance directives as a gift for your family – and your future self. With the COVID virus interrupting our lives now, this may be the best time to reflect on what’s important to you and record it.