Step 3: Share it with Others

Family and Friends

Congratulations, you’ve reached the 3rd and final step – discussing your completed Five Wishes with your health care agent, family or friends, and your doctor.

The exercise of completing your Five Wishes has prepared you to share it with all of those who need to know your preferences.

Family and Friends

How to discuss your preferences with those you love:

  1. Select a time to bring up the subject of planning for the unexpected. It could be over coffee in the morning, after dinner, or over holidays spent with family and friends. It can really be anytime that you feel works best.
  2. Bring copies of your completed Five Wishes with you (one for every person you are talking with).
  3. Start by sharing with them that you recently completed your Five Wishes and are glad you did.
  4. Tell them it’s a document that lets them know what you want and don’t want should you ever become seriously ill or injured. Explain that it’s a plan for the unexpected, and it lets everyone know your preferences with respect to personal, emotional, and spiritual needs, along with medical wishes.
  5. Sometimes, people start with the last wish – “My Wish for What I Want My Loved Ones to Know” and work backwards. This way, they don’t have to start with the harder topics like what kind of medical treatment they want if they have permanent, severe brain damage.
  6. Take your time. Let those close to you know how important these wishes are to you.
  7. Emphasize that Five Wishes keeps your family, friends and doctor from being in the position of having to guess what kind of treatment you want. It keeps everyone on the same page.
  8. Ask those you’ve talked with to bring a copy of your document to the hospital if you ever become seriously injured or sick.