Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Engage With Grace

Currently my step-father is in an ICU with a feeding tube and ventilator. He's comatose and my mother and his doctors are unsure why. I know that my mother and he have talked about his healthcare, and that she understands his wishes for care. She has his healthcare power of attorney.

My mother-in-law seven states away is also in a hospital room, recovering from a serious infection. She's in her 90's. Her five children and their family members are all engaged in her healthcare and know her desires. She has a living will enabling her children make decisions on her behalf should she become unable to. They've posted a sign in her room that tells the nurses and physicians to discuss her blood test results (a daily occurence because of long-term ongoing chemotherapy) with family members who are present.

My best friend's mother is dying. She is also in a serious situation, and the family has decided to withdraw life-support. They too are engaged and able to make decisions where they need to.

In all three of these cases, the family is completely engaged in the process, and knows the wishes of their loved ones. They started talking long ago.

Have you had discussions with your family members about how you would like to be treated? There's a simple way to start. Engage With Grace is a project designed to help you have this discussion. They provide one slide with five questions on it that you can discuss with your family members. You can download a copy of this resource here.

I hope you will look at it. I know that I'll be having this discussion with my family today in the car as we head off for the holidays to see my mother.


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