April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day!
National Healthcare Decisions Day is a day to raise awareness and encourage individuals to make advance healthcare plans.
It is a day to promote discussions about end-of-life care and the importance of making healthcare decisions that align with personal values and preferences.
In this article, we will discuss the history and significance of National Healthcare Decisions Day, its celebration, and its importance.
History and Significance of National Healthcare Decisions Day
Tjos Day was established in 2008 by a coalition of national organizations to encourage individuals to make informed decisions about their healthcare.
The goal of the day is to raise awareness about the importance of advance healthcare planning and to provide resources to help individuals make informed decisions. It’s a day to remember that we need to know someone is there to make decisions for us.
Advance healthcare planning involves making decisions about the medical care a person would want to receive if they become unable to make decisions for themselves. This includes decisions about life-sustaining treatment, such as CPR, artificial nutrition and hydration, and mechanical ventilation.
Celebration of National Healthcare Decisions Day
NHCDD is celebrated in a variety of ways, including community events, workshops, and educational programs. Many hospitals and healthcare organizations host events to provide information about advance healthcare planning and to encourage individuals to start the conversation with their loved ones.
Individuals can also celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day by starting the conversation with their family and loved ones about their healthcare wishes. They can use resources such as advance directives, living wills, and healthcare proxies to document their preferences and ensure that their wishes are respected.
Importance of NHCDD Day
National Healthcare Decisions Day is important because it promotes awareness and encourages individuals to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Advance healthcare planning is important for everyone, regardless of age or health status, because unexpected accidents and illnesses can happen at any time.
By making healthcare decisions in advance, individuals can ensure that their preferences are respected, and their loved ones are not burdened with making difficult decisions. Advance healthcare planning can also help reduce healthcare costs by avoiding unnecessary treatments and procedures that do not align with a person’s preferences.
It also promotes the importance of having open and honest conversations with loved ones about end-of-life care. By starting the conversation early, individuals can ensure that their loved ones understand their preferences and can advocate for them if they are unable to make decisions for themselves.
important steps to take when advance healthcare planning
Advance healthcare planning involves making decisions about your future healthcare, and it’s important to take the following steps:
- Think about your values and preferences: Consider what’s important to you, your goals and values, and what kind of medical care you would like to receive in different scenarios.
- Talk to your loved ones: It’s essential to communicate your wishes with your family, friends, and healthcare providers. This helps ensure that your loved ones understand your wishes and can advocate for you if needed.
- Appoint a healthcare agent: Choose someone you trust to be your healthcare agent, also known as a proxy or durable power of attorney for healthcare. This person should understand your values and preferences and be willing to advocate for you if you’re unable to do so.
- Create a living will: This document outlines your wishes regarding end-of-life care, such as whether you want to receive life-sustaining treatment, and under what circumstances.
- Keep your documents up-to-date: Review and update your advance healthcare planning documents periodically, especially if your health or circumstances change.
- Share your documents: Make sure your healthcare agent, family, and healthcare providers have copies of your advance healthcare planning documents, and keep a copy in a safe place where it can be easily accessed in case of an emergency.
Advance healthcare planning is crucial for everyone, regardless of age or health status, to ensure that their preferences are respected and their loved ones are not burdened with making difficult decisions.
National Healthcare Decisions Day encourages individuals to start the conversation with their loved ones and to document their preferences to ensure that their wishes are respected.