When a loved one becomes seriously ill or critically injured, unable to communicate, will you know their preferences for medical care and treatment? Although much of life is about planning – grocery lists, household budgets, weekend activities, many studies have found that most American adults have devoted no time at all to prepare for what should be among our highest priorities: future healthcare needs.

Hope Healthcare has launched a community-wide campaign to encourage this decision-making process before the need arises.

Hope is offering a free advance directives document, Five Wishes, to address the decisions that must be made when a serious illness or incident occurs. The booklet explains possible medical and legal choices that may need to be made and assists people with exploring personal, spiritual, and family preferences. Five Wishes provides information for the family and physicians such as:

  • Who you want to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them
  • The kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want
  • How comfortable you want to be
  • How you want people to treat you
  • What you want your loved ones to know

Discussing these wishes with loved ones and sharing them with the family physician will help to ensure that the choices are understood and followed. The completed booklet should be kept in a location known to the family.

Hope has set a goal of placing Five Wishes in the hands of 10,000 people in the community this year. Everyone is invited to participate in 50,000 Wishes for Hope.

“We encourage all adults including those in good health as well as those coping with illness to make these important decisions now,” said Hope President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. “Completion of Five Wishes can bring peace of mind when the family needs it most. In the event you are unable to speak for yourself, your voice will still be heard. This is an important gift to your loved ones.”

Five Wishes is considered a legal document in Florida and 41 other states, and in most cases, does not require the participation of a lawyer or notary. To request a complimentary copy, call (239) 482-4673.