Your “End-of-Life” A-Team
They are the people in your life with specific skills or knowledge that you go to or talk with in any given situation. They are your strongest supporters.
Your “End-of-Life” A-Team
Ok, so, first of all, what do I mean by your “A-Team”? Even if you don’t call them that in your day to day living, you know who they are: They are the people in your life with specific skills or knowledge that you go to or talk with in any given situation. They are your strongest supporters and our best advocates. It’s the friend that will always tell you the hard truths even when you don’t want to hear it. It is the person you can call, day or night who will hug you through the tears, will give you a place to stay even if it’s just a couch because your world has fallen down around your ears.
End of Life A Team
It is likely that you have certain friends that you reach out to when all you want to do is forget about the world and go “ play”. You have discovered, over time, which friends and family you can reach out to depending on the situation you find yourself in. You also know who to avoid in different circumstances because they either don’t have the skills to support you, or you will end up “taking care” of them emotionally or physically instead of having them assist you.
Your end- of-life A-Team is exactly like that. This group of people may or may not be part of your regular crew of friends and family. They may include new people that you find with the skills to support you as you embark on this “final career”. This A-Team may have 1 or 2 people, or it may have 5-6 people. The important thing to remember is that your A-Team is about you and choosing that team needs to be about finding these people in your life who will support and advocate for YOUR wishes whether they are comfortable with them or not. These people have to put YOU and YOUR needs first as you embark on this new phase of your life.
Supporting Each Other
Who’s on your end of life A-Team?
What are the skill sets to consider when choosing that team?
Power of Attorney for Health:
This is the person who will make any health decisions if you are unable, for any reason to give consent for medical decisions.
This person should have a solid understanding of your wishes, and values with respect to all levels of your health and of life support or other medical procedures. This person must have the ability either alone, or in conjunction with others to make the hard decisions that may not be popular with your loved ones, but that are in alignment with your wishes.
Power of Attorney for Health
Power of Attorney for Finances:
This is someone who will make all of your financial matters should you be incapacitated. Ideally, this person has strong financial acumen, and can work with the person who has your POA for health, should the role be required over an extended period of time.
This can be the same person as the POA Health, however many times the 2 skill sets are not found in the same person. In both cases, there should be a clear understanding of what your best interests and desires are.
Power of Attorney Finance
In situations where you are able to give consent, and manage your finances, but are coping with a life limiting illness, you may find yourself wanting to create bridges with individuals that you have become estranged from, write letters, make art or other activities that will allow you to leave knowing that you have shared your stories and/or curate your online presence if you have one.
This person will need to be able to provide you with space and assistance to create those elements in a way the best supports the sharing of your stories. Generally, this person is someone who is able to hold space, and be patient and creative to give you the widest scope to express your end of life desires. This may need to be someone who has the requisite technical skills to be able to close and finalize your online presence including passwords etc for social media, blogs emails and web connections as is relevant.
At end of life, your executor takes over the task of taking care of your estate. The skills required for this role may or may not overlap the roles of the person with your POA finances.
It is not uncommon to have several people on your A-Team. Each role requires specific skills. Don’t feel guilty about not choosing the people that you feel will not best reflect your needs and desires at this time. Your brother, sister or spouse may NOT be the best fit for any given role. Have the conversations. Make your wishes know, and if/when you can, document your wishes, and give copies to the appropriate people, including your doctors, so that there is no question about how you want your end of life and “good death”.
Above all else,
the individuals you choose must know your wishes, and have the emotional and adaptive skill sets to be able to follow through on your wishes and support your needs at this critical time.
Feel free to contact me by clicking on the button below Let's Talk or visit my FACEBOOK PAGE
Francine Houston, Transition Coach and End of Life Advocate 519.591.0837