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Five Wishes

There's one simple step you can take that will benefit your loved ones when they need it most. It's a decision fill out a document -- the Five Wishes.

This year, when making a list of New Year’s resolutions, there’s one simple step you can take that will benefit your loved ones when they need it most.  It’s a decision to fill out a document like the Five Wishes.  The Five Wishes is easy to understand, easy to fill out, and it is a legal document in the state of Colorado.  The Five Wishes lets your loved ones know how you would like your medical care to proceed, in the event that you can’t make your wishes known.  Most of us would rather not think about the day we are unable to speak or make our needs known.  However, thinking about it now can prevent years of heartache later. 

Many of us remember the case of Terry Schaivo, who was just thirty-five years old and in good health, when she suffered a massive heart attack that left her unable to communicate.  Her family fought bitterly about what Terry would have wanted.  The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, but could have been avoided, had Terry filled out a document like the Five Wishes. 

For those of us who work in the field of hospice care, it is a mission of ours to educate the public about the importance of advanced care planning.  We have seen how much easier it is for family members to make decisions about life support and resuscitation when the patient has already made those decisions for themselves, ahead of time.  We encourage everyone over the age of eighteen to complete the Five Wishes document, regardless of their health status.  Most hospice offices have copies of the Five Wishes on hand.  You can also receive copies by calling Aging With Dignity at 888-594-7437, or going on line at 

None of us can predict the future, but we can make things as easy as possible for the ones we love by planning ahead.


This article was written by  Andrea Davidson, Hospice and Palliative Care of Northern Colorado

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Lisa Loehr
Home Instead Senior Care, Inc
251 Boardwalk Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525

Home Care Services : Non-Medical

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