According to a recent report from WVXU in Cincinnati, the “oldest old,” or those 85 years of age or older, sometimes have difficulty “accepting dying is a natural part of life.”
When it comes to treatment decisions, the oldest old also struggle to decide when to pursue treatment, and when it will possibly be safer and more comfortable to live without treatment.
However, these challenging health decisions are not limited to just “the oldest old.” In fact, anyone at any age can have difficulty fully accepting dying is a natural part of life.
In most cases, we’re too busy living.
Yet, things can happen in our lives unexpectedly and, when it comes to our health, we need to be prepared to make the important decisions – and if we can’t make the decisions ourselves, we need someone to speak on our behalf.
So it’s essential to communicate about our wishes with loved ones. In fact, today is National Healthcare Decisions Day – a day “to inspire, educate & empower the public & providers about the importance of advance care planning.”
And we understand what you might be feeling because we feel it ourselves – talking about these kinds of decisions can be really unsettling. No one necessarily enjoys talking about how their life will end, but having conversations about advanced care planning has many benefits.
For example, if something were to happen in your life where you were unable to make your own health decisions, having an advanced care plan ensures your wishes will be carried out as you want them to.
Additionally, by having your health decisions prepared in advance, you help reduce an emotional weight on your loved ones. Trying to determine what you would want can create a lot of stress for your family. Often loved ones feel guilty, worrying that they may make the wrong decision and, in the nature of people, your loved ones may have differing opinions about what the “right” decision is for you. Instead of spending time together or with you during a difficult time, they may spend time fighting about what choice to make. Continue Reading »