National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16th – Learn About the Importance of Advanced Care Planning
April 16th marks National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day dedicated to inspiring, educating, and empowering individuals and healthcare providers about the significance of advance care planning. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of having a plan in place in the event you are unable to make critical healthcare decisions for yourself.
Having an advanced health care directive is a crucial tool that allows you to prepare for the unexpected. It outlines your medical care preferences, ensuring your physician, family, and friends are aware of your wishes regarding end-of-life treatments, diagnostic testing, surgeries, resuscitation, and organ donation. By having an advanced healthcare directive, you can have peace of mind, knowing that your medical care will align with your values and beliefs.
What to Include in an Advanced Healthcare Directive
A comprehensive directive will include a living will and name a durable power of attorney for healthcare. Let’s talk about each of these.
A living will communicates to your friends and family what you desire regarding medical care toward the end of life. You can specify details about your wishes for the following:
- Life support
- Feeding tubes
- Dialysis treatments
- Palliative care
Include details about possible scenarios or keep the instructions direct and simple. Your family will be so grateful to have your wishes in writing.
Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
When you appoint a durable power of attorney, you choose a surrogate to make decisions on your behalf. This can be a spouse, an adult child, or a friend. Ideally, you want to appoint a person who makes wise decisions under stress, will understand and consider doctor recommendations, and is willing to take on the responsibility.
This person will speak with the doctors on your behalf, using your living will as a guide.
What to Do with Your Advanced Healthcare Directive
Depending on where you live, you may need to notarize or have witnesses sign your advanced healthcare directive. You will need to give a copy of the signed and completed form to your physician, any other health care providers you may have, to any health care institution at which you are receiving care, and to any health care agents you have named.
Bonita Springs Healthcare understands the importance of advanced care planning, and we are here to partner with you in caring for your loved ones. Visit our website at www.bonitaspringscare.com to learn more about how we can support you and your family in this journey of caregiving.
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