April is a Good Time to Focus Attention on Advance Care Planning

April is national healthcare decisions month – the time when individuals and families are encouraged to focus on the process you want your loved ones and caregivers to follow if you become seriously ill.

If you have a plan in place, it will ensure that your family will not be burdened with making tough decisions on your behalf if you become seriously ill and that your wishes will be carried out. Having a plan in place can also help prevent disputes between family members who may have differing ideas about the care you should, or should not, receive. And avoiding those disputes, which often occur in care settings, assists the caregivers at your bedside as well, who will be able to provide the care you wish without conflict.

The national healthcare community is focusing its “advance planning” efforts on the week of April 16 to 22.  To get started sooner, you can visit PatientCareLink; click on “Healthcare Planning Throughout Your Life” under the For Patients & Families tab, or “Serious Illness Care” under Improving Patient Care.