Advance Directives Let You Take Control at the End-of-Life

National Healthcare Decisions Day Helps U.S. Make and Share Decisions About End-of-Life Care

Advance Care Directives, End-of-Life Care, healthcare, death and dyingDo you know what kind of medical care you would want if you were too ill or injured to express your wishes? How do you ensure that your wishes — or the wishes of your loved ones — will be followed in such an event?

Across the country on Monday healthcare organizations, compassionate care advocates, and individuals celebrated National Healthcare Decisions Day, doing their part to help you find — and record — the answers to questions like these.

Although 82 percent of Californians say it is important to have wishes in writing, only 23 percent say they have done so, according to a February poll by the California Healthcare Foundation. (Source)

Advance Care Directives allow you to express your decisions about end-of-life care in writing ahead of time, and to name someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

Many Americans are still confused by or unsure of the necessity for advance care directives. In order to inspire, educate, and empower us with the information we need to plan for end-of-life care, National Healthcare Decisions Day was created, encouraging patients to express their wishes and for healthcare providers to respect them.

Advance directive forms are actually not complicated or costly — in fact, the paperwork is free, and expensive legal help isn’t essential to the process. We offer a simple and comprehensive guide to advance care directives in the Before Death section of our website, with free resources and answers to many common questions.

Filling out the forms allows individuals to address questions early on that, if left unanswered, could lead to prolonged and unnecessary medical treatment. Putting your wishes into writing now can help your family focus on your quality of life when the time comes, rather than fret over the soaring costs and questionable benefits of extended treatment.

Have you put your wishes for end-of-life care in writing? If not, what is keeping you from doing so?

Image Source: Shho

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