From Martha Hayward, Lead for Public and Patient Engagement for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
I took two weeks of vacation time this summer. My planning started in February when I knew I had to use the time or lose it so I just got it on my calendar. Just doing that helped me move to the next planning items; How much money might I spend? Did I want to travel? Where would I go? And so went the process. I looked into finances and possibilities and then really thought about what I wanted to do. In the end I stayed at home in my little house on the ocean and spent my time relaxing and seeing friends and eating and trying to find the perfect summer cocktail. I just let it all unfold.
With the launch of The Conversation Project this week I have been thinking about my vacation. I think I would like my life at the end to unfold in much the same way as my vacation. Taking into consideration finances, possibilities, family and friends, I might choose to do what I want in the moment and trust my children to make sure I had found that great cocktail!
The Conversation Project is trying to help us all express our wishes for end of life. If you are thinking it is too early for you to be thinking about death just think as death as a vacation from living. Thinking about it, planning, and staying flexible will make it better for everyone.
Visit www.theconversationproject.org<http://www.theconversationproject.org> and check out the conversation starter kit.
key words: end of life care, conversation project, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, advance care planning