Even healthy people need to plan for their future. Look at this task (planning for the days, weeks and months ahead) as nothing more than organizing your closet. You simply don’t want to do it, but it needs to get done. And once it’s organized, you will be relieved you have completed this task.
A good suggestion is to take care of the following task list when you are feeling good and healthy. The following tasks list might be difficult to read, digest, accept and do. This list was not easy for me to write when I was diagnosed with my cancer. But I know that these tasks are necessary and important. It’s a fact of life that we will all die someday. I can’t help but look at the silver lining in everything I do that is unpleasant, sad or difficult. So here is my own two cents…Some people never get the chance for closure. As cancer patients we have the option. The checklist below is an opportunity to make important decisions so our loved ones don’t have to guess or make difficult decisions for us.
Designate a healthcare proxy.
- A living will allows you to convey your wishes on paper regarding treatment when youcannot personally communicate those wishes.
- A medical power of attorney allows you to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for you when you are unable to do so.
Ask your doctor or the patient advocate at the hospital or cancer treatment center to help you learn more about how to make these arrangements.
Make an appointment with an attorney to create or update your will.
Give your caregiver or family member a power of attorney to make financial decisions if you are unable to make them.
Make sure you know what is covered under your health insurance policy, including palliative or hospice care.
Talk to your employer about your current health status and inquire about disability coverage.
Update your life insurance policy and make sure it is signed by a lawyer and/or a witness.
Make sure your doctors and loved ones have written directions that describe your wishes, including organ donation.
Write down all your banking and life insurance policy information and the location of your safe deposit box and keys.
Also write down your passwords to your cell phone, email, and online accounts so that your loved one can manage these should it be necessary.