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Healthwise Healthlinks – End of Life Care

At some point, we may be faced with some difficult decisions about the care we want at the end of life. We don’t know when that time may come, so it is helpful to think about what kinds of medical care we do and don’t want, and make our wishes known before that time comes. This November, help your patients write an advance directive, choose a health care agent, and decide about CPR and life support. With interactive tools and helpful tips, the Healthwise Knowledgebase is filled with information to help your patients make important decisions about their preferences for end-of-life care.

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Article Teasers

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Choosing care for the end of life

end-of-life-content

When it comes to care at the end of life, there are many decisions to be made. Would you want CPR if your heart or breathing stops? If you are no longer able to make medical decisions on your own, who would you choose to make those decisions for you? And depending on your unique needs and medical situation, would you want curative treatment, palliative care, or hospice care? These are not easy decisions. And the right decision is the one that reflects your preferences and values. Whether you are near the end of life or you just want to be prepared, this guide will help you understand the decisions you’ll need to make and to help facilitate conversations with your loved ones and the care team. [Create a hyperlink to the End of Life Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=aa129753]

Deciding about CPR and life support

If you have a very serious illness, your doctor may talk to you about your preferences for care when your heart and breathing stop. If you want your care team to do everything possible to save and prolong your life, you may want to choose CPR and life support. On the other hand, you may not want CPR and life support if you believe that type of care would not extend your life in a meaningful way and allow you to die naturally. Deciding about CPR and life support is a very personal decision, so it’s important to understand your options and talk with your doctor and loved ones about your choice. Use this interactive guide to help you choose what you want to happen if your heart or breathing stops. [Create a hyperlink to the Advance Care Planning: Should I Receive CPR and Life Support? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=tu2951]

Understanding life-prolonging treatments

Medicines. A breathing machine. CPR. When you have a serious illness, all of these treatments may help you live longer. But you can also choose to stop these treatments and receive care that focuses on pain relief and your quality of life. There’s a lot to consider when deciding if life-prolonging treatments are right for you. For example, you’ll want to think about whether your illness might improve or be cured. And you’ll want to ask yourself what “quality of life” means to you. To help you understand your options and prepare for a conversation with your doctor and loved ones, use this interactive tool. [Create a hyperlink to the Advance Care Planning: Should I Stop Treatment That Prolongs My Life? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=tu1430]

Choosing your health care agent

As part of preparing for when you have a serious illness, you may want to think about choosing a health care agent who can make health care decisions for you in the event that you are unable to do so. Your health care agent may need to make some difficult decisions about your medical treatment, so this should be someone you trust. You’ll want to share your preferences, values, and concerns with this person so they know what kind of care you want. For more information on how to choose a health care agent, refer to this handy guide. [Create a hyperlink to the Choosing a Health Care Agent Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=aa114352]

Making your end-of-life care preferences known

Do you know what kinds of medical care you would want at the end of life? An advance directive is a form used to document your wishes in the event you are unable to communicate. There are two main types of advance directives. A living will describes the types of treatment you would want to receive at the end of life. A medical power of attorney lets you name a health care agent who you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable. To help you get started preparing your advance directive, take a look at this helpful resource.[Create a hyperlink to the Writing an Advance Directive Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=aa114595]

Social Media Teasers (less than 140 characters)

  • Do you know your preferences for end-of-life care? Here’s help deciding. [Insert a shortened URL to the Care at the End of Life Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=aa129753]
  • If your heart and breathing stop, would you want CPR and life support? Learn about this end-of-life care decision.
    [Insert a shortened URL to the Advance Care Planning: Should I Receive CPR and Life Support? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=tu2951]
  • If you have a serious illness, would you want life-prolonging treatment? Learn about your options. [Insert a shortened URL to the the Advance Care Planning: Should I Stop Treatment That Prolongs My Life? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=tu1430]
  • Here’s help choosing your health care agent. [Insert a shortened URL to the Choosing a Health Care Agent Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=aa114352]
  • Make your end-of-life care preferences known with an advance directive. Here’s how. [Insert a shortened URL to the Writing an Advance Directive Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=aa114595]