Who gets the wishbone in your family?  What better time to “make your wishes known” about your end-of-life healthcare choices than at a family and friends’ Thanksgiving gathering?

Believe it or not, advance care planning (ACP) for your end-of-life healthcare wishes and the holidays go together.  I encourage you to seize the opportunity when grandma and grandpa, Aunt Mary and Uncle Jack, you, your kids, your friends — multiple generations, are united at the table — and “talk turkey, over turkey” about your wishes, goals, and values. A little known fact: advance directives are intended for all adults 18 years of age and up.

To ease into your conversations you might want to get a few decks of the card game “Go Wish,” available in English and Spanish at gowish.org

Our community is setting the standard in Washington state for promoting the benefits of medical ACP, but we can do better. Accepting death’s inevitability lets us sort out the significant from the trivial, the spiritual from the material, to better focus on the time we have to live and love.  One healthcare provider has described a completed advance directive as “a love letter to those we adore.”

Given today’s medical landscape, the less prepared we are, the more unpleasant, traumatic and protracted our last days are likely going to be. Preparing to the extent possible to lessen stress and gain greater peace of mind when a crisis hits that may signal end of life, is also a gift to those we care about.

A small team of community volunteers offers the presentation, The Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions, which is followed up about a week later with an ACP workshop. This model supports good decision-making before accident or illness occurs. Our presentations and workshops for the community are free, including notary service for those who complete their advance directive.

If your service organization, book club, employees/employer, faith community, union membership, student club, or other group would like to schedule a Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions presentation and follow up advance directive workshop, please let us know.

Contact: Micki Jackson, 360 201 7840;  micki98226@aol.com

The outcome of this important activity is to say to those you love, “I care about you.”  So, let’s talk turkey, over turkey while we can still speak for ourselves.

– Micki Jackson