Identify what matters in order to set your personal healthcare goals.
This past year brought front and center the need to make sure your loved ones know your preferences about your healthcare goals and wishes. Healthcare decision conversations, sometimes even difficult conversations about the future, are important so that those caring for you will know exactly what you want, not only at end-of-life, but throughout your lifetime. At Paradigm Health, we know these conversations are ones that can put your mind — and the minds of your loved ones and caregivers — at ease knowing your wishes are documented and communicated.
National Healthcare Decisions Day was founded in 2006 to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. You might wonder what does advanced care planning mean and what should you include in your own plan? Advance care planning helps you document the types of care you do and do not want and gives those you love the guidance to confidently make decisions for you when you’re unable to decide for yourself.
“Paradigm Health’s approach to healthcare decision making is to educate, inform and let the patient know they have choices that are unique to their healthcare goals,” says Paradigm Health Licensed Clinical Social Worker Kathy Molloy. “We want to be a resource for patients, and the community, to help them understand what their healthcare options are, how to document their advanced directives, and to help them get their own personal healthcare goals down on paper and then shared with those that will be future or potential caregivers.”
Asking each individual “what matters” is essential to beginning the goal setting process and not everyone will have the same set of goals. At the heart of Paradigm Health’s mission is the enhancement and value of each and every day for their patients, and a big part of that value comes from unique and individualized care plans.
“Patients have goals beyond just living longer,” shares Molloy. “Asking that ‘what matters’ question is essential to beginning the goal–setting process and putting things in place for ‘later on’ or a progression toward ‘later on’ when bigger decisions need to be made. Once we understand the personal goals, we can assist in helping them achieve them. We are the helpers and advocates, so to speak.”
Not sure where to start? The below list of questions might help you begin the conversation about determining your advanced directives and then communicating them to your loved ones and caregivers:
- How aggressive do you want your care to be?
- Where do you want to receive your care?
- Do you want to stay out of the hospital if possible?
- Who do you want to make decisions for you when you are unable and at what point?
“At the heart of healthcare decision making is person centeredness,” shares Paradigm Health Medical Social Worker Rachel Weissmann. “The plan of care is fluid and centered around what is important to the patient and for the patient as their wants and needs change. When patients and families identify what is a priority, it allows them to remain in the driver’s seat of their plan of care. Paradigm Health values person centeredness and is always available to listen, guide and alter plans and goals of care.”
That continuum or fluidity of care is something Paradigm Health is founded upon. There are times a patient may need home health care that progresses to palliative care that eventually leads to hospice care. Thankfully, Paradigm has all three lines of service and has patients who can transition right along with them throughout their healthcare journey if needed.
“Many people today are taking the time to document their future care but many more are not,” shares Molloy. “A simple document called the Indiana Healthcare Representative Appointment is something anyone can fill out and should. It really relieves a lot of stress from both the physician and the family when they know that their loved one has already specified their healthcare wishes.”
This April 16, begin the healthcare decisions conversation and put your mind at ease that your healthcare goals will be documented, respected, valued, and followed.