Report says Americans Need More End-of-Life Planning

The report is out and its time to have some honest conversations about end of life care now.

90 percent of Americans think it's important to talk and plan for end of life, yet less than 30 percent actually do.  The time to plan is "now".  Too many of us wait until we are not physically or mentally able to make our wishes known.  By then, it's too late.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) , a non partisan, nongovernmental organization that serves as the health arm of the National Academy of Science, released a report last week that doesn't have any surprises inside.  It is a report that sums up the alarming need in America to provide better services for and better quality of end of life care for patients. At the same time, the report urges a lowering of costs and creating a more "sustainable" health care system.

This 500+ page report is full of recommendations and research from a committee of 21 members from a variety of professions. This committee recommends having conversations as we reach milestones in our lives - starting with the day you get your driver's license.  After all, many deaths and injuries are attributed to car accidents caused by inexperienced drivers. 

Victo Dzau, IOM President, says "We cannot let our discomfort discussing care during dying lead us down a path of inaction".

The rapidly greying of our population and aging demographics clearly illuminate that the time is ripe to talk and to plan right now. Taking time right now to talk and plan will save your family the inherent costs and stresses associated with future end of life decisions that will need to be made.

What's your plan?