Harvard Women's Health Watch

Preparing for the future: How to have that difficult conversation

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Communicate your wishes now to ensure you get the treatment you want later.

It's hard to think about a time when you may be ill or unable to care for yourself. Yet it's important to start considering the kind of care you would want when you can no longer make decisions for yourself—and to make those wishes known to your loved ones.

"Sometimes people wait too long, and then their family members are left to guess what they might want," says Dr. Anne Fabiny, chief of geriatrics at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance and editor in chief of Harvard Women's Health Watch.

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