Having the Conversations then Putting it Down in Writing
In their 2000 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on "Factors Considered Important at the End of Life by Patients, Family, Physicians and Other Care Providers" Steinhauser and her colleagues published their survey results that looked at those factors considered important by most people at the end of life.
The results of this survey can be used in several different ways. To help clarify for yourself what is important to you at the end of life and then to help get the conversation started with loved ones to tell them what is important at the end of life, so your wishes will be carried out by your family.
Uses of the List of Factors - Having the Conversation before the Crisis
Conversations about End of Life care and one's wishes may be difficult to get started, but can be helpful for both the person at the end of life and their loved ones.
This list of factors considered to be important to most people can be used as a way of starting the conversation about end of life care wishes. Resources for starting the conversation are included below:
Uses of the List of Factors - Go Wish
This entire list of factors considered in the study were the inspiration behind the Go Wish Game and the list of important factors from which the cards for the Go Wish game were developed.
The Go Wish game is a valuable tool that can help game players determine what is important to them at the end of life and helpful way of getting the conversation started.
Uses of the List of Factors - Put it in Writing
Once you've had the conversation with loved ones to tell them what is important for you at the end of life, it is important to get these wishes in writing, so they can be carried out by your family in the event you are no longer able to make your own decisions.
- Put It In Writing - Your Wishes, Your Advanced Directives
- Resources for Advanced Care Planning, Directives & Living Wills
Steinhauser KE, Christakis NA, Clipp EC, et. al. Factors Considered Important at the End of Life by Patients, Family, Physicians, and Other Care Providers. JAMA. 2000;284:2476-2482.
© Kirsti A. Dyer MD, MS, FT. Licensed for use to About.com