National Healthcare Decisions Day
April 16, 2018
April 16 was National Healthcare Decisions Day – Did You Make Your Advance Plans?
No one really likes thinking about their own end-of-life issues but as any hospice provider knows, it’s never too early to plan ahead. As we discussed in a blog article last year, having advanced directives and powers of attorney are a great help to your loved ones, to guide their decisions about your medical care and treatment when you cannot.
With National Healthcare Decision Day (NHDD) upon us (April 16, 2018), we are reminding our readers of the importance of these matters and encourage everyone to consider them—for their own benefit as well as their families’.
NHDD is an initiative of The Conversation Project, and (from its website) is meant “to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.”
The NHDD website offers a week’s worth of conversations, so to speak, around advance care planning, for individuals and healthcare facilities. For individuals, these include:
- Giving yourself a day to think about your healthcare decisions
- Discussing these wishes with others and learning their wishes in return
- Tell others that you’ve engaged in advance care planning and encourage them to do the same
At the Center for Hope Hospice, we provide information about advance directives and patients’ rights concerning their decision making. Our staff will always ask if a patient has an advance directive in place already and, if not, can guide patients and loved ones to the tools needed to prepare this important document. We understand and know firsthand the sensitivity around this issue and are always here to support our patients and their families.
If you’d like some help starting your conversation about your end-of-life care, we encourage you to go to The Conversation Project website to see all the tools available. We shared some tips about this in a follow-up article last July as well. Planning ahead, before a critical or terminal illness puts your family in crisis mode, will provide peace of mind to everyone during a stressful time for all, and ensure that your wishes are followed.