Meet The Author, Fern Baudo RN MSN ANP BC Planning Ahead: Making medical decisions in advance. How to navigate the process. Massapequa Library, Monday June 8, 2015, 2PM-4PM Involve your familyThis is a dialogue not for a piece of paper. A piece of paper such as the living will is two dimensional. It doesn’t capture the essence of a person. All choices cannot be captured on a piece of paper. It needs to be a narrative and a dialogue not a sentence and piece of paper. Involve your family in this discussion. Involve your friends and anyone that you feel will be involved in, or have an opinion n your care in your time of need. Be informed, stay informedIt is all about the questions you ask, not the answers you get. Asking pointed questions gets you more of the answers you need to make an educated decision. Have the courage to ask the questions. Doctors may have an understanding of the medical problem, but you know best for your family member if you have had a discussion about what their choices are and why. It’s all about life choicesNot choosing is a choice in itself. When people think Advance Care Planning. They think death, disability. They think sadness. They tie in emotions of being upset, nauseas, scared. What if it was about life and how we celebrate life and what life means to us. Not making a choice is a choice in itself. It is a choice not to keep the ability to make that choice yours. It may make a hard time more difficult instead providing peace and comfort for the people you love. These decisions are life choices. They should be considered part of our life. Plan betterThis plan is not the plan you put together in crisis. Plan ahead consider your choices carefully. Think about what your choices will mean down the road. How will those choices affect your life. Learn how to shareShare your choices with your closest friends’, family and loved ones. Share your wishes. Have the discussion often. Involve the people you love. Make it a regular conversation. Normalize the discussion. Life choices body and mindOften people that fail to have the discussion leave behind people that they love who are wondering if they have made the right decisions. This leads to complicated grief and many questions. "Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it."