I think you should talk about your medical and end-of-life wishes when you are with your family at Thanksgiving. (Why does everyone laugh when I say this?) I am absolutely serious. It is a great time to talk as a group about what is important to you and how you would want to be cared for if you were seriously ill. The up side of talking as a group is that it takes the pressure off of the seniors in the family who would like to talk about their wishes but don’t know how to bring it up. It also takes the pressure off of the family members who want to talk to the elders in their family but don’t know how to bring it up.
A great way to begin the conversation is to use the Go Wish Cards. www.gowish.org
Look at this game on-line before you head over to the family and then use it as a starting place for your conversations. Or use my new advance directive quality-of-life statement as a tool to talk about what is important to you. You can find this at: http://kindethics.com/2012/11/my-new-quality-of-life-statement-to-attach-to-my-advance-directive/ You may also want to print out my Insider’s Guide to Filling Out Your Advance Directive which you can download at: http://thecaregiverspath.com/assets/pdf%27s/Insider%27s%20Guide%20-%20Viki%20Kind.pdf
The main thing is to make the conversation safe and fun. Yes I said fun. When I talked to my husband’s family about advance care planning, they got into the spirit of it and began arguing over which adult child was going to pull their dad’s plug when the time came. Of course this was a joke and represented the funny way his family communicates. As the conversation progressed, people were surprised by what the different family members wanted to write down in their advance directive. I tell you this because these can be interesting and insightful conversations. You may think you know your loved ones but you will be surprised by what they may tell you is important to them.
Ideally, bring a copy of your state’s advance directive for each member of the family. Feel free to forward them my quality-of-life statement and the instructions from my website.
This may be the most important holiday present you give and get this year.
Have a kind and respectful day.
Coda Alliance presents the ‘Go Wish Game’. It gives you an easy, entertaining way to think and talk about what’s important to you if you become seriously ill. The starter game comes with two packs of cards in contrasting colors and instructions for using the cards individually or in pairs.
For more information about the game, and to play on-line, visit www.gowish.org.
Reach And Teach Says:
“A woman at church came up to us and thanked us for having introduced her to Go Wish. She had given her mother a deck of Go Wish cards and had gone through the deck once with her mom. A month later, her mom had fallen into a coma, and her children were facing very difficult decisions about her care. They disagreed with each other and there was a lot of tension. One of the children had to go to the mother’s home to get something and found the sorted Go Wish card deck and detailed notes the mother had written about her top ten wishes. It was clear what their mother wanted, and the children were relieved to be able to follow her wishes, clearly documented, rather than having to argue with each other about what they each thought their mother might want.”
We feel very lucky that our paths crossed with the amazing people at the Coda Alliance. Having seen what we had done with Teaching Economics As If People Mattered, CIVIO, MicahsCall.org, Tikkun/NSP, and other online projects, the Coda Alliiance asked us if we could help create an online version of Go Wish. We feel that having your desires known and followed, especially when you can not speak for yourself, is a key social justice issue.
Go Wish helps you figure out what’s most important to you and allows you to have discussions about your wishes with people who may someday have to speak for you. If you are a caregiver, or may find yourself in that position, Go Wish is also a very good way for you to learn, ahead of time, what the person you may be caring for wishes. We’ve found the cards incredibly helpful in our own lives as we work with our own aging parents, and when we have shared them with others they have had significant impact.
We’re grateful to have the Coda Alliance as one of our 10/10 partners, helping to make the Go Wish card decks more easily available across the country.
Your Order Includes: You get 2 decks (two different colors) for $22.00 (which includes shipping within the United States – for international orders, please select “International Shipping” from the pull-down menu and we will add $10 to cover the additional postage).
Bulk Orders: Card packs may also be purchased in bulk in quantities up to 64 packs total. Use the pull-down menu to select bulk order quantities. Prices include shipping and handling.
If you’d like to order larger quantities, please call us at 1-888-PEACE-40.
Order Directly from the Coda Alliance:
You can also order decks directly from the Coda Alliance. They have special pricing for very large bulk orders.
Have a kind and respectful day.