We all make decisions every day, some more important than others. We decide where to live, what car to buy, what to have for dinner. We research idyllic vacation spots and read countless consumer reviews before making a purchase. Yet many of us postpone some of the most important decisions of all – our wishes for healthcare should we become unable to express them. National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate, and empower the public about the importance of advance care planning. The place to start your plan is not at the hospital. It’s at your kitchen table.
National Healthcare Decisions Day isn’t about making end-of-life decisions. It’s about making decisions for the type and extent of care you want to receive, potentially at any point in your life. And, it’s about making your wishes known in advance, in case you’re ever unable to communicate them yourself.
Why is advance care planning – also known as “advance directives” – so important? Things can happen at any time, so it’s important to be prepared. Putting your wishes in writing puts you in control of your own care before you need that care. And, perhaps most important of all, it relieves your family of potentially having to make decisions for you when they might not know exactly what you want.
Your advance care plan is not a “one and done.” You can change it at any time as your needs and wishes change.
RVNA encourages everyone to use National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16th as the encouragement to start the process now. A free guide to advance care planning and helpful forms are available free of charge at RVNA, 27 Governor Street in Ridgefield or at ridgefieldvna.org. For more information or with questions, please call 203-438-5555.