“Health Care Proxy Preparation” is a 2 part series in which we will discuss the importance of this legal agency decision as well as direction towards what type of questions you should be asking when sitting down with your chosen representative. Being proactive about end-of-life care and having these types of conversations carries much importance.

From talking to your loved ones to finding the right resources, it is crucial to put your wishes into writing and have someone you trust to follow through. You may find through conversation that you and your loved ones disagree on certain things, and you make sure your agent is willing to comply with all of your wishes for when the time comes that you are not the one in the decision making role. Speaking to your doctor, though important, isn’t enough when it comes to medical treatment as in the case of an emergency your chosen agent’s decisions are treated as they are yours.

A majority of people are willing to have these types of conversations with their friends and family, but are afraid of starting the conversation out of fear to upset their loved ones or they just don’t know where to start. Even if you are ready to put all of the steps and motion, toying around with the idea is a great place to start.

When you do believe you are ready to have the conversation, figure out who you want to talk to about it; siblings, children, other family members, a faith leader, trusted friend, a health care provider or care giver. Are there any important life events that you need to work around as far as your timing, and where would you feel the most comfortable talking? Jot all of your ideas down on topics you know you want to discuss ahead of time and a list of questions.

Part 2 will be posted next Friday, 9/18, and will aid in brainstorming questions and topics for health care proxy discussion. For more information and resources click on the links to a blow for a conversation starter kits and tips on choosing or a health care proxy.