Healthcare Decisions Day encourages conversations about end of life care


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(WWLP) – Saturday was Healthcare Decisions Day. The holiday is about encouraging you to start a conversation with your loved ones about those difficult choices we face at the end of our lives.

Starting that conversation can be difficult, but essential. Especially if they are not able to communicate their wishes at that moment. One of the key questions that might need to be answered: is whether or not to resuscitate a loved one. It can be an important tool in saving a person’s life.

However, Jessica Zepke, a nurse at Baystate specializing in palliative care, said it might not always be the best option. Particularly if reviving a person could bring along a severe lack of quality of life. She said it’s best to start these conversations early.

“Whether we see it on TV or we have personal experiences and just kind of bring that in the conversation with our loved ones and just say ‘Hey, what would you want done if you were unable to make those decisions’ or make it clear what you want,” Zepke said. “Like what would you want us to do for you?”

Zepke said it’s also a good idea to designate a person to be your healthcare advocate if you do become incapacitated. It can be anyone you’re close with, just make sure to let them know you’re picking them and communicate your needs to them.

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