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Are Your Healthcare Wishes Documented?

What is National Healthcare Decisions Day?

It is a global initiative to help educate, inspire and motivate patients and their families to document their healthcare wishes. In turn – it helps providers, facilities and family/caregivers to respect those wishes as they carry out the patient’s goals of care.  

Really – the goal of the celebration is to spark a conversation about the importance of advance care planning. Among other things, NHDD helps people understand that advance healthcare decision-making includes much more than living wills; it is a process that should focus first on conversation and choosing an agent. 

Being proactive is key especially when facing healthcare changes. 

You might wonder why advance care planning is so important. It allows for peace of mind by documenting your healthcare wishes should you become severely injured or terminally ill. By taking the time to have these discussions you’ll be proactive and prepared before a medical crisis or healthcare change happens. These planning discussions with Paradigm Health palliative and hospice care patients, in collaboration with one of our social workers, can help those with life-limiting conditions facing psychological, social, spiritual or financial concerns navigate the end-of-life planning process.  

Yet a majority of the nation’s older adults have failed to document wishes about the type of care they want — or don’t want — with a spouse, family member or friend should they get seriously ill, according to a new poll supported by AARP and Michigan Medicine.  

Why the lack of action? 

According to the survey, the reasons 54 percent of older adults had not completed a medical durable power of attorney or advance care directives are particularly concerning. A whopping 62 percent of those without advance directives said they “had not gotten around to it.” Fifteen percent said they “did not know how.” Thirteen percent said they “did not like talking about these things,” while another 13 percent said they “did not think it was necessary.” Finally, 9 percent said “no one asked them to” and 7 percent said they were “deterred by cost.” 

Read more about advanced directives on the AARP website.