UPMC Celebrates the Day of Conversation

By Laura Liberatore

Advance care planning involves making decisions about the type of medical care you would want, and who you would want to make decisions for you, if you became unable to speak for yourself. 

In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of advance care planning for patients, employees and the community, UPMC is celebrating the Day of Conversation from today through April 30. While many people find it difficult to discuss end-of-life issues, having a conversation now, before a crisis, is much easier and more valuable than waiting until you are ill.

Visit www.theconversationproject.org to download a starter kit with tools and tips to start a conversation about end-of-life issues. If you have any doubts about the importance and value of having these conversations with your loved ones and for yourself, view a great video at www.nhdd.org.

After you have this conversation, the next step is putting those wishes in writing, and developing advance directives. An example of an advance directive document is Five Wishes®. For more information, visit www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.php

Take advantage of this time to “Just Talk About It!” with your friends and loved ones. It could be one of the most important conversations you ever have. 

Have you had an end-of-life discussion with your loved ones? If so, what were some of the challenges of that conversation? Tell us about it in the comments section below.