ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, along with other national, state and community organizations, is working to raise awareness of advance care planning on April 16, 2014, the seventh National Healthcare Decisions Day.
This annual day of national awareness falls the day after citizens across the U.S. have completed their federal income tax returns.
“Every year we have to think about our taxes, we hope that people also will think about their healthcare wishes at least once a year and make sure family, loved ones and healthcare providers are kept up to date,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO.
“National Healthcare Decisions Day is an important day of awareness and education, focused on encouraging everyone – including those who are healthy and in the prime of their life – to think about, document and share decisions about the care they would want if faced with a medical crisis,” Schumacher added.
Advance healthcare decision-making includes completing an advance directive (also known as a living will) and appointing a healthcare power of attorney (someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself). However, equally important are the conversations with family and loved ones about healthcare preferences and choices.
Documenting your end-of-life wishes in the event that you are terminally ill or critically injured and unable to talk or communicate is important for people, regardless of age or medical status.
Hospice and palliative care providers are important sources of information for advance care planning and many hospice and palliative care organizations are actively working to promote awareness and provide advance directives on April 16.
NHPCO’s Caring Connections has free, state-specific advance directive forms and information on advance care planning that can be downloaded from its website at www.caringinfo.org/advancedirectives.
Help ensure your loved ones and healthcare providers know how to honor your care decisions by filling out these important documents today.