Using the Five Wishes Document for Planning Future Care

Sunrise Senior Living  |  August 20, 2020
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Most people are probably in agreement that advance care planning is important. The COVID-19 crisis has shined a spotlight on just how quickly health status can change at any age, but especially for older adults. Sharing your preferences for care or knowing what a loved one’s preferences are, especially in the event of a sudden accident or illness, can make a tough situation a little less stressful.

One barrier to advance care planning is that few of us want to tackle this difficult subject. Even with the assistance of an attorney, these types of conversations can be uncomfortable for everyone involved. Fortunately, there is a tool that can help make this process a little easier.

Known as Five Wishes, this tool creates a streamlined process for outlining an advance directive—one that is legally recognized in most states.

The Five Wishes Story

Created by Jim Towey who worked closely with Mother Theresa for 12 years, the program has been described as a “living will with a heart and soul.” Five Wishes is for anyone age 18 and older who wants to ensure their hopes for care are documented and honored. It’s been utilized by over 35 million people already.

Five Wishes is a helpful resource available to families, communities, health care organizations, and businesses. It is a comprehensive, step-by-step tool that makes creating an advance directive less challenging. The document allows you to convey your wishes or help a loved one think through and communicate theirs. Preferences are conveyed by checking boxes or circling choices; very little writing is required.

The tool covers 5 important areas of end-of-life planning, each one identified as a separate wish:

Wish #1: Name the person you want to be your health care agent. This person will represent you and your wishes if you are unable to do so yourself.”

Wish #2: Define the extent of medical treatment you do—and don’t—wish to receive.

Wish #3: Outline the type of comfort care you would like to receive as end of life approaches.

Wish #4: Specify who you want to be with and how you want people to treat you.

Wish #5: Share what you want loved ones to know about your beliefs, wishes, and final arrangements.

Five Wishes allows you to create your document online, store it, and share it with others via email. The site also has helpful tools and resources that make end-of-life issues and decisions easier to discuss.

Coordination of Hospice Care at Sunrise Communities

Through partnerships with local hospice organizations, our communities are able to bring end-of-life care to residents. This allows residents to remain in the place they call home, while still receiving the support of hospice services. Call us at (888) 434-4648 to learn more today!