What is your parent’s favorite dessert?  What is your spouse’s favorite place to vacation?  Where does your sister love to shop? We usually know these answers without hesitation, and our family members would most likely agree with us.  However, do you know definitively how your loved ones want to be treated or cared for if seriously ill and unable to speak for themselves? Can your family answer the same for you?

     Most often, we cannot answer these difficult questions with confidence because we haven’t had the conversations, and even if so, many haven’t documented them.  Honestly, it is a difficult topic for families to discuss and quite simply, we avoid it because it is painful to think of facing such a time.  We often think there is plenty of time to discuss these matters when mom and dad are older, or seriously ill.  Sadly, accidents and sudden illness can happen any age, and families find themselves unprepared, not truly knowing their loved one’s healthcare wishes.  However, these answers are far more important than dessert, vacation spots and favorite stores. 

    There is an easy solution: Five Wishes.  Five Wishes is a simple booklet that is easy to complete and helps individuals express how we want to be treated if we are seriously ill and unable to communicate our wishes. It deals with all of a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. 

    Five Wishes is America’s most popular living will because it’s written in everyday language and helps people express their wishes in areas that matter most — the personal and spiritual in addition to the medical and legal. It also helps adults describe what good care means to them, whether seriously ill or not. It allows loved ones to know exactly what you want.

    When you complete Five Wishes, it is a gift to your family, friends and your doctor because it keeps them out of the difficult position of having to guess what kind of treatment you want or don’t want if you cannot speak for yourself.

    Five Wishes is helpful for all adults – everyone over 18 years. Five Wishes is used in all 50 states and in countries around the world. It meets the legal requirements for an advance directive in 42 states including Louisiana. In the other eight states your completed Five Wishes can be attached to your state’s required form. Five Wishes can be used in any part of the world as a helpful guide and documentation of your wishes.


If you are interested in a free Five Wishes 30-minute seminar by Hospice Associates with complimentary copies for all attendees, please contact Hope Himel-Benson, LCSW at 225-218-1300 to schedule for your group.

If you want to get started right now and share instantly with those you care about, you can order, complete and print a customized document immediately from Aging with Dignity, the creator of Five Wishes.   Website:  www.agingwithdignity.org

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