The Conversation Only 30% of People Have Had
Mar 22, 2018
If you were to suddenly become ill and couldn’t make decisions for yourself, who would you trust to do so on your behalf? Would they know what your wishes were? Studies show that 90 percent of Americans know that they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so.
National Healthcare Decisions Day aims to help people across the country understand the value of advance care planning. It was created to inspire, educate, and empower the public to express their wishes regarding health care so providers and facilities can honor your requests, whatever they may be. This program is leading the effort to highlight the importance of advance care planning, an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day, and April 16 through 20 as National Healthcare Decisions Week.
We encourage everyone, at any age, to identify a person who will advocate your healthcare wishes if you are unable to. If you are in an accident or have an unexpected illness that leaves you unable to talk about your wishes, who will speak for you?
“By communicating your healthcare wishes ahead of time it allows you to receive the medical care that matches your values and goals,” said Melinda Gruber, CEO, Caring Circle. “It also helps prevent family members from being forced to make decisions in a crisis with no guidance.”
Advance Care Planning Checklist
Not sure where to being? Below are tips to get started:
Understand what’s important to you
- Make a list of the three most important things you want those close to you to know about your wishes for end-of-life care.
Designate a patient advocate
- Consider who you want to make your medical care decisions if you could not speak for yourself and set a time to talk to that person and others close to you about your wishes.
Ask specific questions
- Make a list of detailed questions about treatments or terms you’d like to discuss with your medical provider.
Attend a one-on-one facilitated meeting or a community session
- Consider planning an advance care planning conversation with a certified facilitator, available throughout the community at no cost.
Keep your wishes updated
- If you already have an advance directive, review it to make sure it fits with your current wishes.
For more information on advance care planning, visit www.caring-circle.org/planyourcare, email ACP@lakelandhealth.org, or call (269) 983-8166