November 01, 2015

Counseling Clients about Health Care Toward the End of Life

Sally Balch Hurme

Being comfortable talking about advance care planning and end-of-life care with your clients takes thought, compassion, and practice. Explaining the basics about advance directives may come easily when clients have a good idea of what they want. But when there is confusion about care or treatment options, befuddlement over legal specifics, or disharmony within the family, your task can become much more difficult. Overcoming misconceptions about what the legal documents can and cannot do can take patience and courage. When entering into such conversations with clients, it’s essential that you have a firm understanding of the subtle but significant differences among the legal and medical options.

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