Forum: Join National Healthcare Decisions Day…because your decisions matter

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Register Citizen | April 11, 2016

On Saturday, it will be National Health Care Decisions Day. Have you thought about who speaks for you if you can’t tell your medical team about the things most important to you?

Sometimes people assume their family will handle things when the time comes, but if you haven’t talked with family members, they don’t always know what to do. It’s hard to make decisions about what other people want and families sometimes disagree. Grief can get in the way. Make your wishes known by picking one person as your voice and start the conversation. It’s never too early and you may find the conversation brings you closer together as you learn important things about each other.

While making health care decisions is often difficult in the best of circumstances, making decisions for others is even more complicated and stressful. Each of us has the ability to guide our health care providers and our loved ones about what we want, and help reduce that stress. Advance directives give you the ability to name an “agent” to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself and to document the types of health care you may or may not want. Health care is not one-size-fits-all, and your voice matters to us and to your loved ones!

Most adults in America have thought about their future wishes for health care, but only 25 percent of all Americans have put them in writing or discussed them…

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