End of life wishes
Communicating your priorities and hopes for your care near the end of life.
No one wants to have to think about their future medical needs. But, to be sure that your future healthcare priorities are met, it’s important to plan ahead. Thinking about your priorities for care and communicating them to your healthcare team and family will help align the care you prioritize with the care you receive.
Your healthcare team will explain your condition so you can make informed decisions about the type of care you hope to receive.
If you are not sure what kinds of treatment you would want, Geisinger offers several resources to guide you.
We have specially trained staff available to help you make informed decisions about your healthcare. Our team of MyCareCoaches is here to help you understand how your priorities may impact your current and future healthcare decisions.
If you're not sure how to get started, our MyCareChoices service can help you explore and document your healthcare priorities, as well as help you designate someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. MyCareCoaches can also explain some of the commonly used terms you may hear surrounding advance care planning.
After you've discussed your preferences, your priorities will be documented using advance directives. These directives include legally enforceable documents such as a living will or durable healthcare power of attorney, or a combination of the two.
Support for you and your loved ones
If you choose, you can have the support of an entire team and specialized resources for you and your family including:
Palliative care: Also known as supportive care, palliative care can begin at any time during a life-limiting advanced illness, even while you’re undergoing active treatment. Palliative care can include:
- Pain and symptom management during treatment
- Supportive care
- Improving quality of life
- Educational resources
Hospice care: Unlike palliative care, which can begin at any stage of an illness, hospice care is available when life expectancy is six months or less. Hospice care provides:
- Pain and symptom management focused on comfort
- Companionship, assistance and emotional and spiritual support
- Bereavement services for family and caregivers
To learn more about hospice care services, call us at 877-387-1723.
We understand this can be a difficult conversation, but talking about your future healthcare choices and end-of-life priorities may be one of the most important discussions you have.