April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day – a day that reminds us about the importance of making medical decisions long before the need arises. It’s a good opportunity to take some time to think about your health and healthcare wishes.
One very important document to complete and have on hand is an advance directive. It is important for people of all ages. An advance directive is a legal document where you record your medical wishes in the event that you were unable to make those decisions for yourself. By having an advance directive in place, you are able to guide loved ones and medical professionals in making decisions that fit your desires.
There are many reasons why healthcare planning is necessary. Sometimes spouses and family members are asked to make medical decisions if their loved ones aren’t able to speak for themselves. If your wishes have never been made known, they will have added pressure to make those difficult decisions. Sometimes family members have disagreements in making these decisions and then treatments may be delayed. Also, in some instances, medical centers or state laws will not allow a family to make medical decisions if there is not an advance directive in place. These are all reasons why it is such an important document.
Advance directives are relatively easy to complete. They are free and customizable. You are able to choose which treatments you would or would not like if the situation were to arise. You can name a representative to make decisions following the guidelines that you put in your directive. You also could appoint someone to help make all medical decisions on your behalf. You get to make the decision, which is the exact purpose of these documents.
Once you’ve completed an advance directive be sure to give a copy to your doctor. Make sure to also give a copy to family members or let them know where to find a copy if they ever needed to use it. Advance care planning will bring peace of mind to you and to those that you love.
The time is now to prepare for unexpected medical situations. Click here to find get a copy of an advance directive valid in