Living Will

I want to write about the importance of having a Living Will (or an Advance Directive or Advance decision to refuse treatment (ADRT)).

This is a good idea and in my opinion, essential. It gives you a voice. It lets your healthcare team know your last wishes to refuse treatment when you are not able to communicate them.

So when your nearest and dearest are wavering, trying to make the right decisions on your behalf, not really knowing what is best, then you will be heard – loud and clear and there will be no doubt what you want.

On a personal note, when I found Mum’s Living Will, suddenly I could hear her voice and understand what she really wants, now, today because we are at that point. I needed that. I was wavering, not knowing what was best.  I had bought the Living Will for Mum a few years’ back when were were talking on our morning phone call.  She had then made the effort to get it signed by her doctor and was adamant these were her last wishes.

When I get home, I am going to write my Living Will. It is very important to me, I realise this.

Yes, it is legally binding in England and Wales, though not Scotland but I hope my nearest and dearest will do the right thing when they read it and they will hear my voice.

13 thoughts on “Living Will

  1. Sam

    So vital to have. So hard to write. So helpful to the family. Huge hugs from New England to you.
    (Sometimes it really sucks to be an adult).

  2. Mary Colleen McNamara

    So glad she cared enough about you and your sister, that she took this step. We have been through all this legal “stuff” with friends and have had our own paperwork accomplished for many years now. Also here in our state you can do pre paid funeral arrangements and once again have your wishes honored.
    I had a 95 year old friend who passed 2 years ago; and it took so much off my plate. The celebration of her life was just what she wanted and everyone attending had a wonderful time. We all shared stories and left with fond memories.
    Know that we are with you and your family. Whatever you do, you know best.
    Sending prayers and hugs.

  3. Shelley

    Thank you Frances. We are of an age when this is an important reminder.

    Sending prayers to you and thanks again.

  4. Karen Branyan

    I’m so sorry you are going through this, but I’m glad you and your mom took that step of making a living will. I recently had one done myself. Sending you lots of positive thoughts in this difficult time.

  5. Susan Felton

    As a nurse I asked many patients upon admission to the hospital if they had an advance directive. Most did not. If they were interested I could call one of the case managers who would help them get one started. And yet, I never have had one for myself. Thank you Frances for this important reminder.

    I am praying that things with your mother will go smoothly and painlessly.

  6. Judith Garbutt

    Thank you, Frances, for wise words of advice but thank you also for beautiful phoyographs at such a difficult time. Thinking about you and hoping that you know how much we care.

  7. M in NC

    Dear Frances, my parents had the presence of mind to have a living will and I do too though it needs updating. The hospital said if it was over x-years old they would like it updated. My father passed in October and it was helpful having the more recent paperwork. At the time he was dealing with age-related issues (not viral) and advanced age so having family and known wishes helped so much. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family … and little Teddy too. Post when you can.

    M in NC

  8. Linda Kirk

    I admit this is not something I’ve thought about but will do so now.

    This is such a stressful time, please look after yourself.

    Send you love and hugs. xx

  9. Robyn

    Frances, you are very brave to keep posting every day despite your obvious personal distress. Those of us who have experienced what you are now living through feel great empathy and compassion for you, as will everyone who loves your blog. You bare your soul and in doing so prove just how precious you are. We are with you on this journey in thought and in prayer. The days ahead will be very solemn, but you will make it through because you are not alone. “The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”. May you know that underneath are the everlasting arms to comfort and sustain you in your time of need.
    Sending much love and big hugs from Robyn in Sydney. xxx

  10. diane in northern wis

    You are so right, Frances. A living will is important. My parents had them before they came to the end of their lives, and my husband and I have them also. Praying for you Frances, and your mom.

  11. Louise Stopford

    Been here, done that last year with my mother-in-law. It is important you are right Frances. My husband’s mum had everything in order, bless her and this helped us greatly when we had everything to sort and not a real clue what we were doing and nobody else to help us. It’s all such an emotional struggle but having things in place like a living will makes things clearer at least. Sending you and your family much love at this difficult time.

  12. Michelle Watler

    My father unexpectedly passed away at the end of September. He had advance directives written and although the decision to end (brief) life support was a horrible decision to make I knew it was what he wanted. I encourage everyone to make your wishes known, it makes things slightly easier for your loved ones.


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