Healthcare decisions for yourself and others you may have to make choices for are better done before anyone gets sick. I recommend having a straight talk with your spouse and children, or parents, or whomever you want to know what you want and don’t want done when the time comes. Talking about these matters when you are of sound mind, and not in pain, will make the discussion easier on everyone. 

My brother-in-law is now needing kidney dialysis. My sister is his care taker and they are both finding this is a rough way to live. Their time is not their own and it seems there is one little, or big, crisis after another. In the mean time there are still all the regular daily chores of running a house and feeding the occupants. Add in the factor they are senior citizens and have slowed down a bit, the decisions and chores seem like big hills instead of bumps in the road. Getting old isn’t for sissies when there is a health concern involved. Luckily their children are local and helpful and I am giving the support I can.

We are learning there are legal papers that need to be signed by the people involved and their doctor and some papers apply to the hospital that don’t apply to the ambulance crew. It’s all rather confusing and stressful. We are also finding that each state is different. So where you live might not have the same paperwork we have here in western New York state. It would be nice to know these things ahead of time, but most of us don’t study a subject until it affects us or someone we are close to.

I would like to suggest next time you see your doctor talk to her/him about your healthcare decisions. Ask what you should be aware of, who you should tell, and by all means share the information with the person you have to name to make your decisions if you are unable to. It’s not a fun conversation, but will save a lot of angst when the information needs to be put into action. And none of us know ahead of time when that might be. I hope that’s many years in the future for anyone reading this. Good health to you.