In the event a loved one was incapacitated, would you know what their wishes are? It is important to talk with your loved ones about what they would want in the event of a healthcare crisis. Discuss completing an advance directive. It’s a document that lets others know what you would or would not want in regard to your healthcare if you could not speak for yourself.
You don’t have to discuss specifics right away, but if something were to happen tomorrow would you know where to find a list of your parents’ medications or contact information for their physician? Would you know where to find important documents like insurance policies, wills, funeral plans, and banking or investment information? Do your parents pay their bills online or have online accounts. Would you know where to find their usernames and passwords if needed?
This type of information sharing goes both ways. Would your loved ones know what to do or where to go if something happened to you?
Use your own planning as a springboard. “Mom, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future, and I just wanted to let you know some things I have decided. What would you want if something were to happen and you couldn’t speak for yourself?” Or, “My husband and I were going through our financial paperwork, and I just wanted you to know where to find it in case you would ever need it. Where do you and Mom keep all of that information?”
Just because you don’t talk about something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. People get older, accidents happen, illnesses happen, people die. Having everyone on the same page makes it much easier to handle a crisis. If no one knows what to do, or where to find vital information in an emergency, it makes an already stressful situation that much worse.
Reassure your loved ones you are not looking to take anything away from them. You just want to have guidance and a plan in the event you need one. Frame it as a family plan for the future. A plan that will make things easier for everyone.
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