National Healthcare Decisions Day - April 16, 2014 - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

National Healthcare Decisions Day - April 16, 2014

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Wednesday, April 16th is National Healthcare Decision Day. Statistics show approximately 90% of American have heard of advance directives and the role they can play in assuring our wishes are honored if we ever come to a time in our life when we can no longer express those wishes for ourselves; 71% have given some consideration to their own wishes/choices, but only about 30% of  us have actually completed the documents, and even less than that have had those very important conversations with those who love them and are the very people who will be responsible for speaking for them at that time.

 On Wednesday April 16, 2014 at Texoma Health Foundation, 5036 Reba Drive in Denison, Home Hospice and the foundation will jointly host "The Great Conversation" presented by JoCarolyn Chambers, LCSW, Pathways Coordinator and social worker for Home Hospice, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the conference room.   During this presentation Chambers will explore the choices and decisions to explore and offer strategies, not only for completing the documents, but for what seems to be the even more difficult task of discussing our wishes with our families.  Then from 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chambers will be available to work with folks in groups or one on one to complete their directives, discuss their concerns, and more. 

The event is free and is offered to provide access to the information needed to help people take this important step in life.  By the way, all adults, regardless of age, should complete this process and revisit it every several years – as we know, our lives can change in a heartbeat and even those in their 20's, 30's and 40's can find themselves facing this situation.

National Healthcare Decisions Day - April 16, 2014

Despite recent gains in public awareness about the need for advance care planning, studies continue to indicate that most Americans have not exercised their right to make decisions about their healthcare in the event that they cannot speak for themselves.  

The goal of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is to help Americans understand that future healthcare decisions include much more than deciding what care we would or would not want.  Healthcare decisions start with expressing preferences, clarifying values, identifying care preferences and selecting an agent to speak for us if we are unable to speak for ourselves. 

The NHDD initiative is a collaborative effort of national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring that all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions. 

NHDD will leverage participating organizations' efforts and commitment to:

  • Increase awareness of the benefits of advance care planning so that Americans will be familiar with how to obtain and complete a healthcare power of attorney and/or living will, and talk to others about their decisions.
  • Rally a national media campaign so that Americans will know how to access information and resources to help them make future healthcare decisions.
  • Mobilize national, state and community organizations, healthcare providers and other key stakeholders to initiate outreach and educational activities for people to learn about advance care planning and complete advance directives and to honor those wishes when they become clinically relevant. 

Join the effort, visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org or www.nhdd.org.  It's important because your healthcare preferences matter and they should be honored.