National Healthcare Decisions Day is this Saturday, April 16th and the theme for this year is “It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late.”
How well I know that. Families do not plan in advance for the worst case scenario. I wish I didn’t have to tromp through the halls of hospitals and nursing facilities with my notary in tow so that we could do an advance directive at bedside. I wish I didn’t have to tell untold families that I could not do an advance directive for someone because their stroke (heart attack, accident, other horrible incident) makes it impossible due to their incapacity.
It is heartbreaking for me.
The Boston Globe had an excellent article on end-of-life care in December 2015. In that article Andrew Dreyfus wrote “The absence of clear communication and regular advance care planning increases the odds that patients will receive care that does not reflect their values, preferences, and needs.” How sadly true.
(Full article: https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/12/16/setting-terms-for-how-die/8fCt9ktslolRYUGObgygdL/story.html.
Health care advance directives do not require a lawyer but I implore you to make sure the documents are properly executed to insure they are valid. I see invalid ones more than I’d care to. You can find these documents FOR FREE at various state and non-profit websites — no need to go to a pay-for website.
Also consider joining me this Wednesday, April 13th at 12:30 p.m., when I am the guest speaker with Norma Jean Shaw on The Valley Today, 95.3 The River. We will be talking about National Healthcare Decisions Day and whatever else Norma Jean wants to discuss. You can stream the broadcast live at http://theriver953.com/