It’s National Palliative Care week and this week I am offering you a series of short videos (all are approx 5 mins or less) around Loved One’s Regrets and providing some suggestions and steps you can do to hopefully avoid having these experiences.

They are in no particular order and the first one is “I wish I’d known what they wanted”.

This one is reasonably simple to avoid.  What needs to happen?  Have the conversations.  Complete the documentation.  That’s why I said reasonably.  We avoid conversations of this nature in our culture, but they can help so much with having awareness of what’s important.  Then have the appropriate documentation completed, relevant to where the person on their end journey lives.

Here in Queensland, we have the Advance Health Directive (click here to access).  This document captures all of your medical related wishes and only comes into force and effect if you are unable to communicate these for yourself.  It covers things like whether or not you’d like CPR and feeding tubes etc.  It can also be where you state that you’d like your pain managed, even if that management hastens your death.  We have laws in Queensland that protect doctors and enable them to provide this care.  It’s not voluntary euthanasia, but it can help.

We also have the Enduring Power of Attorney (click here to access).  I make three suggestions to people when they are considering who to appoint as their attorney, because it doesn’t need to be a relative :

  1. Make it someone who knows your wishes
  2. Make it someone who accepts and respects your wishes
  3. Make it someone who will jump up and down and make some noise, if needed, to ensure that your wishes are met

For other states and territories in Australia, I have listed the appropriate links here on my website (click here to access).

Another initiative being launched in Australia this week is Death Over Dinner, brough here by the Australian Centre for Health Research.  The concept has been in the USA for a number of years with much success.  Yours truly was thrilled to be asked to be an Ambassador for it.  The concept is simply gathering some of your nearest and dearest and having a conversation about the end of life preferences for all of you over a relaxed meal.  The website has an easy process to walk you through the organising steps and has a truckload of information available to you.  (Click here for more information).

Communication is key to avoiding this regret, as it is with so many other things in life.

If you have any queries or comments, please let me know.

Peace & blessings, Sharon