Tuesday, April 16: National Healthcare Decisions Day

Tomorrow (April 16) is National Healthcare Decisions Day, when people are encouraged to finally get around to putting into writing what they desire when it comes to their healthcare if they become seriously ill.
MHA has been a longtime partner of Honoring Choices Massachusetts, a leading advocate for advanced care planning. Honoring Choices has highlighted three key steps in making a plan (see graphic). 
“Advance care planning” is necessary so you have a plan in place when you might not be able to articulate it for yourself. With a plan in place, your wishes are carried out, bickering between family members who believe they are acting in your best interests is avoided, and caregivers are not drawn into those conflicts.
How do you go about taking the first steps? This brochure from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the Conversation Project lays out the basics. This brochure explains how to pick a healthcare proxy – the person who acts on your behalf when you can’t. And this brochure explains how to talk to your doctor, nurse, or other provider about end-of-life care.
For additional information, you can visit the Honoring Choices Massachusetts website, or PatientCareLink.