Advanced Care Planning: Make Your Wishes Known with Five Wishes

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. To celebrate this month and to continue educating patients on their own palliative care options, Melissa Frazier, Nurse Practitioner at Clearview Cancer Institute (CCI), detailed options available in the Five Wishes Palliative Care Program at CCI.  

Five Wishes is an advanced care planning program where patients explore and discuss their goals, values, and experiences related to the end of life, as well as their understanding of their health to guide future treatment considerations and choices.

Frazier described Five Wishes as “a program that walks you through the five important components of creating a directive including appointing a healthcare proxy, determining wishes considering life support, and other important topics concerning how you would like to be treated and how comfortable you would like to be at the end of life.”  

By creating an advanced care plan and an advanced directive, a patient is able to make their own health care choices and have personal peace-of-mind. Not only does this give them full autonomy in their healthcare journey toward the end of their life, but it also eliminates a potential burden from family members in a time of urgency or crisis. 

“I think this is something important for not only patients, but also for anyone involved in their healthcare journey just because accidents can and do happen every day,” said Frazier. “The idea here is to promote aging with dignity in the healthcare setting.”  

Frazier also shared that CCI has full-time personnel that can witness signatures and notarize documents for patients that wish to create and finalize a directive while they are in the building.  

If you are interested in learning more about Five Wishes, booklets can be found in patient exam rooms. If you have questions, you can ask anyone on your physician’s team for more information about the process of creating your own advanced directive plan.