National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is on April 16th! And as we do every year, Honoring Choices Florida along with other national, state, and community organizations, is celebrating all week to educate and empower the public and providers to plan ahead for health care decisions through advance care planning (ACP). While advance care planning may seem like a difficult process now, family members may find it hard to make decisions for you if it’s not done ahead of time. We encourage all adults to express their decisions through conversation and in writing by completing an advance directive. This removes the burden from our loves ones and ensures that our wishes for healthcare will be respected and honored.
A key goal of NHDD is to help adults understand the value of advance care planning and begin the conversation. One of the biggest barriers to achieving this is fear. We don’t want to talk about death, but it’s crucial to understand that advance care planning is not about death at all. It is simply a process for you to think about the care you want to receive and share your wishes with loved ones and/or your healthcare provider.
Advance care planning isn’t just for people with serious illness. It’s a part of healthy living and should be done by all adults. It’s a way you can help your loved ones know what you’d want when the time comes that you can’t speak for yourself. Time and time again, families, doctors, and hospital administrators struggle to provide care for patients who did not make their healthcare wishes and decisions known or complete an advance directive. These families and professionals do their best to advocate for what they believe the patient would want but they are doing so without any guidance. We know we can provide better care by:
- Raising awareness of the importance for advance care planning conversations
- Offering free access to trained professionals to guide the conversation, and
- Increasing the number of advance directives available when needed.
What would happen if you experienced a serious illness or were in a major accident that prevented you from making your own medical decisions? How would you ensure you received the kind of care you wanted? Would your family or loved ones know enough about your wishes to confidently make decisions on your behalf? At Honoring Choices Florida, we are all about planning for the “what-ifs” that may occur. We encourage planning ahead to ensure the care you receive is consistent with the care you’d want.
Join an information session at honoringchoicesfl.com Or contact us at 877.227.0050 to get started.