No one likes to think about being unable to make important decisions about their own health or the health of a loved one, but on National Health Care Decisions Day, we encourage you to do just that.
Although National Health Care Decisions Day takes place every year on April 16, it’s really a kick-off to a weeklong discussion about the serious topic of advance directives. And here are the reasons why it’s so important for you to participate:
You Want Peace of Mind
Advance directives generally come in the form of health care power of attorney or a living will. The former empowers a designated person to make all the decisions should you be unable to do so yourself. The latter provides clear, concise direction for what sort of medical treatments you do or do not want if you can’t communicate.
By making your wishes known ahead of time, you can rest assured knowing that if you’re ever unable to communicate them directly, you’ll have someone to communicate them to doctors for you.
You Want to Give Your Family Peace of Mind
No one wants to leave their family wondering whether or not they’ve made the right decision about which medical treatments should be administered if you’re unable to make the decision yourself.
By having a living will or selecting health care power of attorney ahead of time, your family will know that every decision made will be the right one. And, in what will certainly be a difficult time for everyone, any amount of comfort you can provide them will be worth it.
Do you have an advance directive or have you started talking with your friends, family or doctor about end-of-life care? It’s not an easy discussion to have. The Conversation Project is working to make it less difficult. If you need help getting started with family members, use this Conversation Starter Kit, and use this guide if you’re ready to have a discussion with your doctor.