By: Susan M. Graham, Certified Elder Law Attorney
It is often hard to talk about end-of-life issues. Some people just will not consider that a day may come that they are unable to communicate about their health choices and desires. How can you start the conversation to find out how you can help a family member or dear friend if that day occurs?
One step is to take “The Health Care Proxy Quiz:”. You both take the quiz and compare the answers. It is one way to start the conversation and discover the wishes of your loved one.
Another source on the internet is “Your Life, Your Choices: Planning for Future Medical Decisions, How to Prepare a Personalized Living Will.” This is a 53-page resource and workbook to help identify what kinds of medical care you want when you are sick or so severely injured that you can’t communicate with your doctors or family.
A third source is the “Go Wish Card Game.” It was created by a group consisting of hospitals, faith communities, universities and elder care organizations in San Jose, California who worked together to “help individuals and families discuss their values and goals and define what it means to ‘live well’ at the end of their lives using the Coda Go Wish Card game.” This card game helps you decide what’s important at the end of your life. The “Go Wish Cards” are for advance care planning. The cards give you a simple way to think and talk about what’s important to you if you become seriously ill and provides a way to share this information with the person you expect to rely upon for help.
What is the next step? Make certain your wishes are known. If you do not know what you want, try one or more of these three helpful tools. Make certain you have a current Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney. Those forms are available for free on the Senior Edge Legal website.
 On the internet, just type in “The Health Care Proxy Quiz” There are ten multiple choice questions that focus health care wishes. It is an article submitted by Rebecca Sharp Colmer, and My Caregivers.
 On the internet, go to codaalliance.org for information on how to order the cards.