Sep 8, 2023
Joanne Eason, President of Five Wishes, knows it’s important to document our end-of-life wishes so our voices are heard when we can’t speak for ourselves.
Five Wishes was established over 25 years ago through a series of listening tours, asking people what was important to them. From those results, the Five Wishes document was formed with guidance from the American Bar Association and other palliative care providers across the U.S. It's designed for individuals to use when sitting down with their families, a tool for talking about what’s important to the person.
Five Wishes has incorporated three questions into their Five Wishes document: How comfortable do you want to be? How do you want to be treated? What do you want those around you to know about you? Those answers are the voice of the patient. Where health systems use certain forms to document decision-makers and specific medical directives, Five Wishes is about not just the wishes of the person, but who they are.
It can be used like a workbook and comes in both digital and paper forms. The workbook is a living document and should be revisited as healthcare status changes or your spokesperson changes.
Five Wishes can also be utilized by hospice agencies, healthcare organizations, and businesses. It’s legal in almost every state in the U.S. so it’s a very flexible document. If you live in one of only four states (New Hampshire, Kansas, Ohio, or Texas) you can still use the Five Wishes Paper but may need to take an extra step. Five Wishes is available in 30 languages, as well as Braille.
Find out more about Five Wishes at fivewishes.org.
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