Step 3: Continued…

Helping others share their preferences

Now that you’ve shared your preferences, you probably have other family members and friends in mind that can benefit from the Be@Ease program and Five Wishes.

What’s the best way to share it with them?

Start by telling them that you completed your advance directive using the Five Wishes document. Explain why you did it and let them know you are glad you did.

Transition by saying: “When I was thinking about my preferences the other day and how I want be treated if I’m ever seriously ill or injured in an accident, I became concerned – I don’t know how you feel about these things. I want to find out. Let’s talk about it.

Be prepared to talk it through once you’ve raised the subject, but realize that some people may want time to think about it and review a sample Five Wishes document. Better yet, share a copy of your completed document with them.

Realize that there is no perfect time to have the discussion – let them suggest when they’d like to talk and, if the conversation stalls, try choosing another time when they are in a good mood and appear to have time to talk. Try to have the discussion while people are healthy – don’t wait for an illness and don’t take chances that there will never be a serious injury or accident. Plan for the unexpected!

Remember, those who love you probably don’t want to place a burden on you or other family members or friends. Often times they are more open to talking about it than you may think.

A good way to discuss it is by talking about other people who became seriously ill or injured — or passed away. Ask your family member or friend what they would want if they ever ended up in a similar condition.

Keep the focus on planning for the unexpected – the just in cases and what-ifs of life. Emphasize the peace of mind it brings to all involved.