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Hospice

Making Decisions

It is important to plan for the future and empower ourselves with options that meet our needs and desires. When faced with a life-limiting or terminal illness, many decisions must be made. These decisions can involve financial matters, advance directives, funeral arrangements, how the last days of life will be spent, and other issues. Even though discussing these issues may bring up feelings regarding difficult losses and changes, it is important to be proactive and to communicate in order to ensure choice and control during difficult times.

A member of your Mission Hospice team will be glad to assist in facilitating a discussion with your family to plan for the future.

Following are some guidelines to help you broach potentially difficult subjects.

  • Plan ahead for the conversation.

  • Be sensitive to the fact that you will be discussing emotionally laden topics.

  • Choose a place and time that is conducive to an open conversation.

  • Keep in mind that you may have to discuss the same topic on several separate occasions.

  • Realize that family members may disagree and that the goal is to allow the patient to have a say in the matters being discussed.

  • Use “I” statements to get your view and feelings across.

  • Do not use this time to discuss old wounds or bring up unresolved issues from the past.

  • Be aware that initial decisions may change.

  • Collect brochures or articles for use during conversation.