One Small Action
Talking about death and the planning involved is tough. We get it. It requires a lot of deep, emotional thought and can seem overwhelming. Where do you even begin?
How about right here, right now by taking just one small step to being prepared and taking action. Heck, let's make that action even more manageable by just calling it an ACT. One small act. Let’s break that down:
A - ADMIT: Admit to yourself that you, like most of us, are incredibly unprepared when it comes to death and dying. Got all your documents in place if it were to happen to you? Know what to do if a loved one died suddenly? No shaming or judgment here. Just like any other preparedness, it makes sense to do these things BEFORE an unfortunate event strikes. I’ll admit it...I still have a few things to do to feel better prepared.
C - COMMIT: This weekend commit to doing one small thing, making one small step to be better informed or prepared. Yeah, it’s gunna be emotionally charged...at first...it will get easier, trust me. That’s why we are starting slow. One small step. Remember: by acknowledging and taking control over your end-of-life planning, you’ll be on your way to greater peace of mind on the topic - and that, my friends, is priceless.
Here are three things you can do to get this ball rolling:
1. TAKE STOCK: (And give yourself some praise) for the stuff you already have done. Got a Will? Excellent! Advance Care Directive? Extra credit for you! Have you shared your Final Wishes with a loved one or have it filed along with your Will and Advance Care Directive? Total teacher's pet. Great! Now, gather up what you do have and file it in one place. Preferably in a clearly marked folder or file. Possibly in a bright neon pink or obnoxiously loud color and where it is easy for you and your loved ones to locate. For the rest of you who might not have anything done, stop right here and give yourselves a huge pat on the back for reading this article and taking all this information in. That, in and of itself, is progress. Read on…
2. GET KNOWLEDGABLE: Maybe you don’t have an Advance Care Directive because you don’t know what it is. The simple definition: Advance directive forms — sometimes called "advance care planning forms" — are documents that express your wishes for medical care in the event of a medical emergency where you can no longer speak for yourself. These documents can also communicate what should be done with your body after death. Each US state has different forms that are easily accessible on the internet. Find yours. Download it and take a look. You don’t have to fill it out and file it, yet. Just familiarize yourself with what it’s all about. Small step.
3. SIGN UP TO DONATE: According to The U.S. Government Information on Organ Donor and Transplantation: About 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation. However, just 54% have taken steps to register as donors. Are you one of these adults? Did you know that you can easily sign up, right now thru your iPhone? Super simple. Using the Medical ID feature via the Health app, you can sign up with an organization called Donate Life America. Open the Health app on your iPhone. Tap the icon for Medical ID. Swipe to the bottom of the Medical ID screen and tap the button to Sign Up with Donate Life or sign up on their website: https://www.donatelife.net/register/
T - TALK: Talk to yourself, with your partner or spouse, or with your parents and family. Be the one to open the conversation with others. Ask one important question on end-of-life matters. One question. Just get the darn talk started. Here are three of our cards to get you going:
There’s a ton of information and tools to empower you to think more positively about your end-of-life decisions. These are just a few to get you started. Once you’ve taken a small action step, you’ll start feeling relieved and more comfortable tackling the topic of death planning.
So go. Take that step. ACT!