National Healthcare Decisions Day: April 16, 2011

Empowering us to make our healthcare decisions NOW for the unknown later…

College education. Career path. Relationships. Starting a family. Buying or selling a house. Vacations. Retirement. From the age that we’re old enough to understand, most of us are taught and accept that these are the markers in life that we plan for. However, there’s one key marker that’s all-too-often missing from this list: healthcare decision-making. Like planning for these other life events, planning for the time (or times) that we are unable to express our healthcare wishes is of the utmost importance. It is something that should be well thought out, documented, and revisited at different points in life to reflect any change in our desires or family situation or the person we wish to advocate for us. Unfortunately, it is a planning point that that majority of us have missed. As a consequence, patients’ families can suffer the added burden of having to guess when a health crisis happens.  So this year, I’ve joined my fellow bloggers throughout the country to spread the word about the importance of advance care planning.

Nation Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), which occurs annually on April 16, is a collaborative effort of national, state, and community organizations as well as dedicated individual advocates committed to ensuring that adult Americans – like you and me —have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions.

Have you ever met someone who has never heard of an Advance Directive? Or who don’t yet see the value in having “the talk” with their loved one(s)? I know I have. As a long time writer, I have learned the power of storytelling.  I have found that reaching out to people with no knowledge of or interest in advance care planning is as simple as sharing your story.

Advocate to others the importance of determining your healthcare decisions, and share your story.

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