The goal of National Healthcare Decision Day is to inspire Americans to communicate their end-of-life wishes about healthcare with their families and healthcare providers.
Although making healthcare decisions is often a difficult process, making decisions for others is even more complicated.
According to the 2018 Conversation Project national survey, Americans are becoming more comfortable talking to their loved ones about their end of life wishes. Over half (53%) of Americans say they would feel relieved if a loved one started “the Conversation.”
Once you have initiated the conversation, experts recommend creating an advance care directive. Advance care directives are legal documents that are used to secure your decisions about end-of-life care, to avoid confusion and uncertainty later on. These legal documents can include a living will, health care proxy, health care power of attorney or instruction directive. Having an advance care directive in place will help make sure that your wishes about your health care are fulfilled, even if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes.
Don’t wait for “the right time” to talk with your family, everyone should plan for their future, before a crisis arises.
There are many tools and online resources that can help you and your family begin this important conversation.
- The Conversation Project is a program that helps people communicate their wishes for end of life care. Learn more about the Conversation Project at https://theconversationproject.org/
- The Five Wishes® offers easy, legal advance care directive documents to helps all adults, regardless of age or health, record how they want to be cared for at the end-of-life. Learn more about the Five Wishes at https://fivewishes.org/
- Hospice Foundation of America offers tools for starting the conversation with your family members and healthcare professions, visit them at https://hospicefoundation.org/Hospice-Care/Starting-the-Conversation
To learn more about National Healthcare Decision Day and advance care directives. Visit NHDD.org.