Stewarding our Health and Families

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On Sunday, November 11th, as a part of our Stewardship focus in November, we worked through an exercise on stewarding our health and families as we look ahead to the reality of our deaths.  This exercise is intended as a communications tool – to help us clarify our thoughts and communicate them with family and friends.

Exercise: Where I Stand Scales

As a patient, I’d like to know…

Only the basics about my condition and treatment
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All the details about my condition and my treatment

 

As doctors treat me, I would like…

My doctors to do what they think is best
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To have a say in every decision

 

If I had a terminal illness, I would prefer to…

Not know how quickly it is progressing
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Know my doctors best estimation for how long I have to live

 

Look at your answers. What kind of role do you want to have in the decision-making process?

 

How long do you want to receive medical care?

Indefinitely, no matter how uncomfortable treatments are
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Quality of life is more important to me than quantity

 

What are your concerns about treatment?

I’m worried that I won’t get enough care
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I’m worried that I’ll get overly aggressive care

 

What are your preferences about where you want to be?

I wouldn’t mind spending my last days in a health care facility
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I want to spend my last days at home

 

Look at your answers. What do you notice about the kind of care you want to receive?

 

How involved do you want your loved one to be?

I want my loved ones to do exactly what I’ve said, even if it makes them uncomfortable
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I want my loved ones to do what brings them peace, even if it goes against what I’ve said

 

When it comes to your privacy…

When the time comes, I want to be alone
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I want to be surrounded by my loved one

 

When it comes to sharing information…

I don’t want my loved ones to know everything about my health
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I am comfortable with those close to me knowing everything about my health

 

Look at your answers. What role do you want your loved ones to play? Do you think that your loved ones know what you want, or do you think they have no idea?

 

 

What do you feel are the three most important things that you want your friends, family and/or doctors to understand about your wishes and preferences for end-of-life care?

 

 

Finish this sentence: What matters to me at the end of life is…                                         (for example, being able to recognize my children; being in the hospital with excellent nursing care; being able to say goodbye to the ones I love).

 

 

You can find this and more help in communicating your values at theconversationproject.org