Every year, on April 16, National HealthCare Decisions Day is celebrated to bring awareness of advance care planning. As many holidays there are throughout the year, whether it be National Ice Cream Day or National Talk Like Yoda Day (Yes, a real holiday), National HealthCare Decisions Day is one of the most important. Keep scrolling to learn more about advance care planning and how to get started.
Advance Care Planning
National HealthCare Decisions Day is dedicated to shed light on advance care planning. Advance care planning involves discussing and preparing for future decisions about your medical care if you become seriously ill or unable to communicate your wishes.
“Research shows that you are more likely to get the care you want if you have conversations about your future medical treatment and put a plan in place. It may also help your loved ones grieve more easily and feel less burden, guilt, and depression” (NIA.gov).
Advance care planning is not just for people who are very old or ill. At any age, a medical crisis could leave you unable to communicate your own health care decisions. Planning now for your future health care can help ensure you get the medical care you want and that someone you trust will be there to make decisions for you. It is important to start having meaningful conversations with your loved ones, as this is the first and most crucial step to get started in planning.
Starting your end-of-life planning
The main goal is to start a conversation and bring people the resources and tools to decide and share their healthcare decisions.
Different factors to consider when approaching your advance care plan, such as:
- Deciding on a do not resuscitate (DNR) or full code status
- Terminal Illness wishes
- Hospice and Palliative care
- Length of treatment
- Privacy and family involvement
Many people use advance directives, which are legal documents that provide instructions for medical care if you cannot communicate your own wishes. The two most common advance directives are a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care.
The two most common advance directives are a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care.
A living will is a legal document that tells doctors how you want to be treated if you cannot make your own decisions about emergency treatment. In a living will, you can declare your preference in medical treatments and care and under which conditions each of your choices applies.
Durable power of attorney for health care: A durable power of attorney for health care is a legal document that names your health care proxy, makes health care decisions for you if you are unable to. When choosing your proxy, they should be familiar with your values and wishes. Having a health care proxy helps you plan for situations that cannot be foreseen, such as a serious car accident or stroke.
If you or a loved one is considering Hospice and Palliative Care, as part of your end-of-life planning, contact Interim HealthCare Hospice today.
Our compassionate, patient-centered approach to medical care and support for people who are at their end-of-life is based on the philosophy of improving the quality of life when the quantity of time is limited.
With over 20 years of experience and 70 offices, we offer a wide range of care and support just for you.
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