I apologise for what may be a sombre blog post, but I feel it is something that many of us need to consider
I have found a website that celebrates some of the lesser-known national days for America. I think a few of them are well worth adopting ourselves. Here is another one I have found which raises awareness of a very important issue. April 16, is National Healthcare Decisions Day in America.
This may be an uncomfortable topic for some; even taboo for some families. It is, however, a topic that once worked through makes difficult times a little bit easier. In the event of an emergency, unexpected medical event or accident, doctors and medical professionals rely on family members to determine what a patient’s wishes may be. Family members may be difficult to locate or may struggle to think rationally in order to make difficult decisions during an uncertain and frightening time. If plans and wishes have already been discussed, maybe even committed to paper, then this burden is removed from the family members and helps to lessen anguish during a very stressful time.
Action - key points about advance care planning
Advance care planning can be done when you are perfectly healthy and want to prepare for the worst-case scenario or because you have a long-term condition or life-threatening illness.
- Plan ahead for your important healthcare decisions - this helps you prepare for what the future might hold. It also helps your family/whānau and your healthcare team know what health care you want or don't want.
- An advance care plan is a written record that includes your preferences for your future health care. Find the documents you need now, complete them, and put them where they are easily accessible. Let your family/whānau know where your documents are in the event you have a healthcare event.
- Discuss your decisions with your loved ones. (Maybe even encourage them to write their own advanced care plan.)
- The 5 steps involved in advance care planning include
- thinking about
- talking about
- planning for
Don’t place the burden of these decisions on your loved ones.
Here is a very useful website to help you navigate advanced care planning