Today is 6th Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day, a grassroots movement aimed at encouraging everyday people to consider what is, for most of us, most of the time, the unthinkable: Our wishes, preferences and priorities for care when faced with advanced, serious illness. Having conversations about what we would want done–or not done–in certain medical situations can help our families and loved ones avoid crisis-based decision making, and prevent the struggle to second guess what we would have wanted.
Having these conversations is but one step in a process, one that should also include naming a surrogate, documenting your wishes, sharing that information with your health care provider, and so on. Tackling it all at once can seem overwhelming: So use today as an opportunity to take one step.
The team at National Healthcare Decisions Day has developed an array of resources for the public, which can be downloaded here:
And any number of good organizations around the country can be tapped to help you navigate your own particular needs and situation.
If you have a story you’d like to share, we’d be happy to post it here, and will also send along to our colleagues at NHDD. In the meantime, in the face of the day’s tragic news, we can take a moment to treasure our loved ones and our opportunities to be present with and for them.
Along with colleagues @Altarum and @NathanKottkamp, we participated in last Thursday’s Twitterchat. You can read that via this Storify version, courtesy of @Altarum:
key words: national healthcare decisions day, advance care planning, NHDD.org