Do you have your advance directives completed?Posted: April 11, 2019, 9:14AM
April 16 is National Health Care Decisions Day. This is a day of education and awareness, a day to encourage more individuals to plan for health care decisions. Slightly more than 1/3 of adults in the United States have any form of a written advance health care directive. Your Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will are two of the important documents you need to insure your wishes are followed if you can't express yourself. All adults need to have these arrangements!
Events are held across the country, and several are going on locally. Valley Hospice and Amedisys Hospice have several sessions planned in our local area. You can go to the NHDD website for more information on events and participating organizations.
When working on advance directives, keep these points in mind:
- Appoint someone you trust as your agent. Make sure it someone you trust to make your health care decisions and carry through your wishes.
- Advance care planning is not a one-time fill-in-the-blank task. It is an on-going process. (What if there is a death, a divorce, a move? You want to keep your Advance directives up to date!)
- Have the conversation! Talk to family and friends about what you want....and don't want. Make sure your wishes are in writing.
- Share copies of your documents with family, friends, the agent for the directive, your pastor, your primary care physician, and other health care providers. Keep copies handy. You may want to keep copies in the glove box in your car and/or post them on your refrigerator.
- State laws vary on the completion of the documents. Check the following resources for more information or contact a local hospice organization.
For forms and information:
[Source: National Center on Law & Elder Rights email]