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How to Help Seniors Complete the “Five Wishes” Advance Healthcare Directive

Planning for end-of-life care is a legal matter. Five Wishes is a simple and legal advance healthcare directive.

Five Wishes is an advance directive that records an end-of-life care plan in plain language.

It is important to have a plan for future care in case a senior is unable to make decisions for themselves at that time. Many individuals create living wills to direct such decisions but may not understand all of the legal jargon. Five Wishes is a very simple legal document written in plain language to ensure individuals receive the end-of-life care they desire.

Sharing the Basics with Seniors

What is an Advance Directive?

If a senior faces a health issue that renders them unable to make healthcare decisions for themselves, an advance directive determines who makes decisions for them. It can also direct the kind of care they receive.

Why Use Five Wishes as my Directive?

A living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare are two forms of advance directives. Five Wishes is an advance directive that covers the same medical topics. Five Wishes also addresses the individual’s desires for spiritual, emotional, and personal care.

What are the Five Wishes?

  1. The person you want making care decisions for you when you can’t

  2. The kinds of medical treatment you do or don’t want

  3. How comfortable you want to be

  4. How you want to be treated

  5. What you want loved ones to know

How Can I Complete a Five Wishes Form?

Anyone over the age of 18 can complete a Five Wishes document. To order a hard copy of Five Wishes or complete the form online, visit:

Reasons to Complete Five Wishes

Five Wishes is a gift for seniors and their families. Through this legal document, seniors ensure they experience the kind of care they desire even if they cannot make decisions for themselves.

Senior’s family members:

  1. Know what their loved one desires

  2. Know who is responsible for what in the care process

  3. Are protected from disputes about care

  4. Don’t have to guess what a loved one would want

  5. Can address non-medical needs with confidence

Home Care Tip

Although the “Five Wishes” Advance Healthcare Directive is designed to be simple, seniors should take their time to complete the form. End-of-life care decisions are significant and should be weighed carefully. Be sensitive if you help a senior complete this essential document.

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