When Elvie, an 80-year-old woman, suffered a heart attack one quiet afternoon, her adult children found themselves thrust into a state of emotional and logistical chaos. As she was rushed to the hospital, her children, Clara and Tom, faced a barrage of immediate and critical decisions about her medical treatment. They had discussed her wishes a few times and they both knew the basics of what she wanted as far as healthcare was concerned but they quickly realized that they felt overwhelmed and underprepared. Clara thought invasive procedures would be too much for their mother to handle, while Tom argued for aggressive treatment, believing it was the best way to extend her life.

The atmosphere in the hospital grew tense, as both siblings were burdened by the weight of the decisions and wanted the best for their mom. In the midst of this crisis, Clara and Tom couldn’t shake the feeling that they were failing Elvie in her moment of greatest vulnerability. They realized that she would want them to come to the decision with love for each other and for her so they found a way to set their personal feelings aside and work together to make decisions.

They successfully weathered the situation and Elvie was able to go home. They called us in to help with her care management since they lived at a distance. At one of the first meetings they made the comment that they both wanted to get their own information in order so this didn’t happen to their children. If you feel the same way, use this FREE checklist to track the things you have to get in order.

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