Make Your Wishes Known

Do your loved ones know your health care wishes? If you ever became too sick to make your own health care choices, who would speak for you? The information provided here is designed to help you make your wishes known in the event you are unable to speak for yourself. Although it includes information about COVID-19, the suggestions listed below can help ensure you are prepared for any serious illness or injury that affects your ability to communicate.

You should know

  • COVID-19 is a serious illness that can affect anyone. Most people who get COVID-19 are not sick enough to need care in the hospital. Those who get a severe case are often older or have other health problems. People who are older and sicker are less likely to get better, especially if they need a ventilator (breathing machine).
  • Those who survive may have lung damage and long-term weakness. Even with weeks or months of rehabilitation in a health care facility, they may not get strong enough to return home.
  • People may have different feelings about what medical care they would want if they got a severe case of COVID-19. Some people may want to avoid going through difficult treatments, like a ventilator, that may have little chance of helping them recover. If so, they can choose not to receive those treatments. Instead, they can choose comfort-focused measures that may include palliative and/or hospice care.