Tuesday, April 16 is probably just another day to you. But it should be a day for you to consider important decisions involving key members of your family—including you, yourself.
National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, is a day to think about advance planning for the end of your life and the end of your loved ones’ lives.
But, wait, you say, everybody’s healthy and nobody is facing any sort of health crisis. That makes now an ideal time to think about all those relevant questions. Life-threatening medical conditions can occur suddenly. Accidents happen.
If you haven’t personally experienced the agony of making a decision regarding a family member’s treatment, you probably know someone who has. They can be marked by heated discussions and lead to personal anguish and family discord. Sometimes these decisions may be less difficult to make, but often they are grueling.
You can spare your family this painful experience by deciding now, when your mind is clear, the types of actions you would prefer to be taken on your behalf. You can make your wishes known before a crisis occurs. You can assign a “durable power of attorney” designation to your spouse, your partner, a child or other family member or friend.
In Missouri, our attorney general’s website has a form that we at Hope Hospice recommend for patients and family members. The form allows you to make end of life decisions. It also has guidance to help you make those decisions. Click HERE to obtain the form.
2013 will mark the 6th annual National Healthcare Decisions Day. NHDD was founded by attorney Nathan Kottkamp in Richmond, Virginia. NHDD has a website with much good information about advance directives and living wills. We encourage you to visit the site by clicking HERE.
As the video on the NHDD website asks, “Who will speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself?” Make those decisions now. You may not be able to make them later.