By Barbara Ivanko
“If you don’t talk about it, you don’t own it.”
These are the words of Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Medical Editor, when she addressed the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO) annual Management and Leadership Conference at the end of March. She spoke to hospice professionals of varying disciplines from around the country during this annual event that takes place near Washington, D.C.
Dr. Snyderman expressed her belief in the importance of advanced care planning, going onto say: “Death is a part of life. You have to talk about what you want (and end of life) while you’re in your 20s, 30s, and 40s.”
Sharing stories from her own family, Dr. Snyderman explained the illness that her father experienced years ago – and how the family came together to access quality hospice care. Her father eventually improved, but the ordeal readied her family for the dying process. Dr, Snyderman also shared the fact that her daughter, a woman in her 20s, proactively documented her end-of-life wishes with her fiancé as they planned their wedding.