Voice Your Choice advocates for patients' final wishes

Our Advanced Care Planning Program known as "Voice Your Choice" advocates for the healthcare wishes of our patients.

Despite end-of-life-issues being difficult for anyone to talk about, the more we have the conversation, the more thoroughly we’ll understand our options and learn how to communicate our wishes and those of our loved ones.

At Hospice of Southwest Ohio, we lobby for our patients’ wishes. As difficult as it is to share personal concerns, values and spiritual beliefs, sometimes it can be as helpful as talking about specific treatments and circumstances.

As a patient, voicing choices with your loved ones can help ensure personal wishes are followed. And as a caregiver, speaking up for the patient in your care can help their final days be as comfortable as possible.

Voice Your Choice provides:

  • Community education
  • Professional CEUs
  • On-site form completion

Gathering the courage to make personal decisions can be frightening for many. The hardest part is acknowledging this and finding out where to start. Keep these three points in mind:

  1. Thinking about your end of life can be exhausting and emotional.
  2. Thinking through what’s important often means having “Aha!” moments about yourself.
  3. Determining personal choices at the end of your life can give you and your loved ones peace of mind.

Defining personal decisions with Voice Your Choice

When caring for a patient in hospice while making their final decisions, start with helping them answering the following questions:

Sometimes the best starting point for end-of-life contemplation is what worries you. For others, the starting point is considering who is important.

Sometimes the best starting point for end-of-life contemplation is what worries you. For others, the starting point is considering who is important.

On a personal level, what’s important can include relationships to (try to) mend, for others knowing the most common regrets can offer the chance to live life without any.
Often, it’s difficult to know what you should consider, when “considering” what you’d like to have “in place” before the final days. For some, it’s repairing relationships, for others, it’s paperwork
How much do you already know about your health? Different health conditions, and those with more than one health condition, can have several decision or crisis points along their journey.
Exploring Voice Your Choice can bring on bouts of grief. Crying and feeling exhausted is normal and part of the process.
Is it important to you to think about how you’ll be remembered? Sometimes memories are preserved in loving conversations, sometimes in memorabilia and sometimes through a legacy effort with more than one person in your family or community. In this digital age, there are many services to help you preserve or create your own memories of life.

Remember, the patient is the boss. Their end-of-life wishes can be changed as often as they want, and as long as they’re considered competent and capable of consenting to the treatment. With certain conditions, “competence” can change from hour to hour.

Having these conversations “before the crisis” is much easier, and much more valuable to the patient and their family. If people can begin to talk about the end of life while people are still healthy, it will help their families understand hopes and fears around illness and dying as well as cope with inevitable loss.

Despite being difficult, the end of life can also be amazingly rich. Learning, insight and love are possible to the last breath, and beyond.

 

Begin the Voice Your Choice conversation today

If you're ready to start the dialogue about end-of-life wishes and care, consider downloading our guide today. We're available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at (513) 770-0820.

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