Good morning! Today is the 8th annual National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). NHDD “exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be” (source). It is an issue that I happen to be passionate about.
NHDD was started by an attorney in Virginia and went nationwide in 2008. The purpose is to focus attention on and provide information about advance care planning, and encourage folks to have conversations about their wishes with loved ones.
Steve and I made our advance directives several years ago. With surgery approaching next week, I rehashed some of the salient points with him, to make sure that if something went wrong he had my wishes at the front of his mind. Not to catastrophize, but sh*t happens and I’ve seen too many worst-case scenarios not to be prepared.
Whether you’ve been intending to complete an advance directive or you’ve never heard of one, I encourage you to spend some time today and get additional information. You can even complete an advance directive online through an organization called Five Wishes if you live in one of 42 states where it is recognized. Yes, it costs $5, but I think it is worth every penny to have your wishes honored (which to me is priceless).
There are many, many resources about advance care planning, but here are some good places to start:
And please feel free to leave questions in the comments section of this post. I will do my best to get them answered!
Thank you for starting the conversation!