living your best to the end
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  • Who am I?
  • My Health
  • Comfort
  • Quality of Life
  • Pause for Thought
  • DNR or CPR
  • Heroic Measures
  • Brain Function
  • Evaluation
  • Confirm/Share

Step 1: QuoteGr

 


Step 2: How's your health now?HealthGr

Many have serious health problems, and still consider themselves healthy.

Examples of serious health problems: diabetes, arthritis, rheumatoid disease, Crohn’s disease, heart disease, mental illness, asthma, digestion, kidney disease.

Examples of health problems you may die from: Dementia (Alzheimers), Parkinson’s, ALS, MS, Kidney Failure, Lung Disease, some cancers.

Your overall health can play a part in what decisions you'd want made if you can't speak for yourself.


Step 3: Comfort CareComfort

Medical care for comfort and suffering is called Palliative Care

Comfort can mean

  • Physical: pain, being itchy, having bed sores
  • Emotional: angry, upset, sad, depressed
  • Spiritual: fear, confusion, solace

 

Comfort can also come from small joys: a special blanket, music, flowers, a massage, a hug, asking and getting forgiveness. These ‘small joys’ can be part of your BestEndings Advance Directive.


Step 4: Quality of LifeQOLGr

In any decision about a medical action (such as surgery, medication, feeding tube, breathing machine, radiation, cancer drugs) consider asking these questions:

      • Will I get completely better?
      • Will I be able to live as before?
      • Will my other health issues affect getting better?
      • What could go wrong?
      • Will my brain still work?

 

Recovery timerecoveryGr

How long it takes to feel better may be something you wish to consider. Recovery time after treatments can vary.

A Natural Death

Having gone through these questions, if your wish, at this time, is that you don't want any medical actions except those that keep you comfortable you can direct that you want to let nature takes its course - Allow Natural Death (A.N.D.)  - while ensuring your comfort.


Step 5: You're halfway there!

halfwayDo you need a break from making decisions? Here are some things to think about:

    • Unlike how it was in the past, most have never have seen a dying person.
    • Seeing someone die can be scary.
    • Often the hope is medicine can always make things better
    • Sometimes doctors feel like they’ve failed if they can’t make it better
    • Comfort and peace of mind can be as important as trying to live longer
    • Deciding when to keep on ‘trying’ can be very hard
    • Sometimes there isn’t one ‘right’ answer

 

Plans don't always work out as planned

 

  • Many would like to die at home, in familiar surroundings.
  • Know that health scares at home can be too much to handle for family or caregivers or even the patient.
  • Sometimes the patient is ready for death, but family, community or caregivers may think the patient is ‘giving up’.
  • It can be important to know and to hear: “It’s ok to go.”

 

"When you're walking through hell, keep on walking" - Winston Churchill


Step 6: Life Saving and Life-Extending Medical Actions (Heroic Measures)DNRgr

Breathing Machines (Ventilators) and Feeding Tubes are often called Heroic Measures

For some, being alive is what’s most important even if it’s not possible to to have a conversation, move freely or breathe without a machine.

For some, it’s ok to be fed via a tube, for others enjoying eating food is important.

For some, letting nature to take its course – called A Natural Death -  is their wish, as long as they're comfortable and free of suffering.

It can be hard for people (including family and friends) to accept your choice. That's why it is very important to share your wishes with your decision-maker(s) and everyone who matters to you.

If you are too ill or injured to speak for yourself, consider whether you’d consent to 'heroic measures'. Your decision may depend on:

    • your overall health
    • your family health history
    • how long the action will be necessary: short-term or forever
    • possible side effects or things that could go wrong
    • how your daily life will change
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A Natural Death

Having gone through these questions, if your wish, at this time, is that you don't want any medical actions except those that keep you comfortable you can direct that you want to let nature takes its course - Allow Natural Death (A.N.D.)  - while ensuring your comfort.


MachineGr

Step 7: DNR or CPR

This is the one health care professionals often want to know first: if your heart stops, do you want be revived by Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

CPR means electric shocks to your chest, often breaking and badly bruising ribs.

Your decision may depend on your overall health: the better health you’re in, the better you’ll recover.

If you don’t want CPR, then you’re direction is:
DNR Do Not Revive Me – do not try to force my heart to start beating.

 

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A Natural Death

Having gone through these questions, if your wish, at this time, is that you don't want any medical actions except those that keep you comfortable you can direct that you want to let nature takes its course - Allow Natural Death (A.N.D.)  - while ensuring your comfort.


 Step 8: Loss of Brain functionBrainGr

There are illnesses that over time rob you of your mental abilities, such as dementia (Alzheimer’s, Lewey body and Vascular), stroke, Parkinson’s. A brain injury or accident can have the same effect.

If you are not able (competent) to speak for yourself due to Dementia, and your heart stops or you stop breathing do you want to be revived:

 

If you have Dementia (eg Alzheimer's) and cannot speak for yourself, do you want other medical actions to extend your life?

 

If I can’t eat or drink, I would like:

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Vegetative State or Brain Dead

For some, there are reasons to be kept alive, even in a 'permanent vegetative state' or being brain dead.

A Natural Death

Having gone through these questions, if your wish, at this time, is that you don't want any medical actions except those that keep you comfortable you can direct that you want to let nature takes its course - Allow Natural Death (A.N.D.)  - while ensuring your comfort.


Step 9: EvaluationEvalGr

Before the last step,  please help us make this process better. Your evaluation and input is very much valued!


Step 10: Last step. Confirm you're of sound mindDoneGr

Way to go. You made to the end.

Now you just have to confirm you’re of sound mind. Easy, right?

Thank you for completing your BestEndings Advance Directive. If your health changes or you learn more about your end-of-life journey, you can always complete a new BestEndings Advance Directive.

The recommendation is to share your BestEndings Advance Directive with everyone who matters.