Monday, June 27, 2011
Five Wishes: The Path to Peace of Mind
I recently attended an enlightening seminar at our local library called Five Wishes, presented by Aging with Dignity. Five Wishes is an easy-to-read legal document that lets adults express how they want to be treated in case they become seriously ill and are unable to speak for themselves.
Five Wishes has become America’s leading living will because it speaks to all of a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional, and spiritual. The document also provides an excellent prompt for family discussions.
The eleven-page document covers every aspect a person needs to consider when creating a living will. It’s easy to use with places to check a box, circle a direction, write a few sentences, or cross out a section. Once signed and witnessed, it becomes a legal document in most states.
Following are the topics covered in Five Wishes:
Wish 1 – The Person I Want to Make Health Care Decisions for Me When I Can’t Make Them for Myself -- Includes suggestions on how to select the proper person to handle these decisions. The form provides a place to name the Health Care Agent and list contact information.
Wish 2 – My Wish for the Kind of Medical Treatment I Want or Don’t Want --
Discusses what life support means specifically to that individual and the various ramifications of a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.
Wish 3 – My Wish for How Comfortable I Want to be -- Itemizes the various personal acts you want performed on your behalf.
Wish 4 – My Wish for How I Want People to Treat Me – Discusses who you want with you, such as only family only , who to notify that you’re ill, whether or not you’d like prayers said on your behalf.
Wish 5 – My Wish for What I Want My Loved Ones to Know -- Expresses personal desires of lasting memories to be left with family and friends, such as expressions of love and forgiveness. Also discusses the disposition of the deceased’s body.
Five Wishes discusses issues many people find hard to communicate, all in a matter-of-fact, thorough manner.
For more information and to order Five Wishes, visit www.agingwithdignity.org