Advance directives assist in end-of-life care

Posted at 4:54 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 19:10:24-04

The nation is mourning the loss of Barbara Bush, former first lady to the United States. 

The 92-year-old made headlines earlier this week for refusing further medical care while in failing health

The choice to refuse care shocked many, but local experts say having a living will through an advance directive can ensure your wishes are met until the end of your life. 

Hilary Beasley lost her mother two weeks ago. While the loss wasn't easy, Beasley said she is thankful her mother had an advance care directive in place.

"I knew exactly what was in the form, what she wanted in the end, and I was able to implement that type of care and make sure her wishes were satisfied," Beasley said. 

An advance directive is a living will, a document family members will reference if there comes a time loved ones can't make their own or vocalize their own decisions.

"Life is unpredictable, and at any time any one of us could have an accident or develop a sudden illness that would leave us unable to make decisions for ourself," Amy Stang, advance care planning faculty with Honoring Choices Idaho, said. 

It's not a fun conversation to have, but experts say planning for end-of-life care can provide relief and comfort to families. 

"I believe that my father would have gone a different route with my mother's care, but the fact that I knew what her wishes were, I was able to instruct the medical staff and hospice on the kind of care that she truly wanted," Beasley said. 

The process of making a living will can be simple. Resources are available through Honoring Choices Idaho. 

For more assistance on creating an advance directive, representatives can walk individuals and groups through the process for free.

"[Our advisor] was so kind and so patient," Beasley said. "She took all the time my parents needed to make sure that they understood what she was explaining."

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