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Cancer Matters Home caregiving Starting a Conversation about Advance Directives

Starting a Conversation about Advance Directives

Bright and early at 6 am on April 16th, Harry J. Duffey Family Patient and Family Services staff members greeted patients clad in t-shirts encouraging them to learn about advance directives. The effort was part of the National Healthcare Decisions Day “Start a Conversation Project” and is aimed at helping people understand advance directives and how they make their wishes for end-of-life care known. The truth is that none of us know when our last day will be, and end-of-life care is a challenging and emotional topic for sure, but one that is much less challenging and emotional when it occurs before a patient is hospitalized due to a serious illness or accident. Advance directives can also provide comfort to family members, who can be certain of loved ones’ wishes.

Even if they are not wearing a t-shirt, our Duffey team encourages patients to start a conversation and ask their caregivers about advance directives.

For more information about advance directives and other practical topics related to cancer survivorship, watch our video series The Fine Print of Cancer. Topics addressed include spiritual and pastoral care, social security, palliative care, emotions, hospice, caregiving and advance directives.

The Maryland Office of the Attorney General also offers an informational video about advance directives.