CHFC Encourages Californians to Have to Have an End-of-Life Discussion
Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) July 23, 2014 – With more 8.6 million aging baby boomers in California alone, end-of-life discussions are becoming increasingly important. Families need to make it a priority to speak with loved ones before, not after, a crisis strikes.
A 2012 California Healthcare Foundation (CHFC) survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of respondents felt that having an end-of-life discussion with their family was “extremely important” — yet 56 percent of those respondents had not yet communicated those wishes with the person they would want making that decision on their behalf. Only 23 percent had their wishes in writing.
“The best time to have the discussion about your desires for end-of-life care is before a life-threatening illness hits,” said Myra Gerson Gilfix, a living will attorney with Gilfix and La Poll Associates in Palo Alto. “An advance discussion avoids the anxiety your loved ones might feel later when trying to determine what your healthcare and financial wishes would be if faced with the unthinkable.”
To further engage those who are reluctant to have such a conversation, the CHFC announced plans in May to release a Facebook platform that prompts friends and family on the social network to have this conversation with one another. The platform was created in response to a competition hosted by CHFC called Catalyzing Communication About End-of-Life Care.”
Laws regarding advanced care directives, powers of attorney and living wills vary from state to state. Therefore, programs like the CHFC encourage individuals to speak with loved ones and with a lawyer as soon as possible when making end-of-life care decisions.