For most of us, from the age we are old enough to understand, there are certain life markers that we plan for . . . college, career, family, retirement, to name a few. However, most of us omit one key life marker that’s all too important: healthcare decision-making. Like planning for those other life events, planning for the time(s) we are unable to express our healthcare wishes is of utmost importance. Planning for such times beforehand enables you to thoughtfully consider what healthcare decisions you would like made on your behalf, as well as who you would like to make those decisions for you. Moreover, communicating your decisions in writing alleviates the need for your family and loved ones to guess what your wishes would be in the midst of a health crisis, which can impose a great burden during an already stressful time.
It is difficult enough to make your own healthcare decisions; making healthcare decisions for others is even more complicated. Each of us has the ability to guide our healthcare providers and our loved ones concerning these important and very personal decisions. That is why April 16, 2011 is the fourth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day (“NHDD”). This national day of recognition brings together hundreds of national organizations and even more state and community organizations who are calling for all Americans to begin the discussion about their healthcare wishes and to create a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney.
April 16 is fast approaching, so here are some things you can do for yourself and your loved ones to prepare for NHDD 2011:
1) If you have already made your healthcare decisions by previously executing a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney, review your healthcare directives to ensure they still reflect your wishes.
2) Talk to your loved ones. Tell them that you have created these documents and have a conversation about your actual healthcare wishes. You will be giving them a tremendous gift! (If you’d like suggestions on how to start this discussion, visit http://www.begintheconversation.org/, http://www.docubank.com/ or http://www.caringinfo.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1.)
3) Encourage your loved ones and friends to learn more about healthcare directives and to complete their own.
4) Share your healthcare directives with your healthcare providers and make sure they are on file in the event they are needed.
5) Send an email to your friends and colleagues telling them that you are participating in NHDD and encourage them to do the same.
In recognition of NHDD, we are offering the following discounts for the month of April, 2011:
1) 50% off all advanced healthcare directives; and
2) 25% off a basic estate planning package.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to create/update healthcare directives, whether for you or a loved one, please contact us at (910) 762-1577.