For many years I have been involved in programming for National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) which is annually recognized on April 16. National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.
A key goal of NHDD is to demystify healthcare decision-making and make the topic of advance care planning easy and part of family conversations. NHDD’s aim is to help people understand that advance healthcare decision-making includes much more than living wills; it is a process that should focus first on conversation and choosing someone to speak your wishes for you should you not be able to do so yourself.
As you finalize your tax filing for this year, plan to take care of another important piece of paper…your advance care directive.
Begin the conversation now, and not in the emergency room or the intensive care unit, with the people you love, before it’s too late for them to know your wishes. These difficult conversations don’t have to be that if done in advance. And we can make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected.
Join me in having an advanced care directive (I have had mine since 2002) and make sure your advocate has a copy or knows where it is filed.
I’m prepared. Will you be too?