National Healthcare Decisions Day
The face of healthcare is continuously changing. The methods of prolonging life are becoming ever-more sophisticated, but in some cases, they can also be more aggressive or invasive to the patient. Consequently, seniors and their families can find themselves weighing the costs and benefits of these advances. Some may want to pursue every avenue of treatment available; for others, the sacrifices in quality of life may not seem worth the time that could be gained. Choices like these are incredibly personal and will vary depending on the individual, health challenge, and type of intervention. All patients have a right to make and stand by their own choices, including refusing a treatment. However, if an individual becomes unable to make or express his or her own health decisions, it can be difficult to discern who should step in, and also to guess at what the person’s preference would be.
While thorny issues like this may be unpleasant to contemplate, addressing them ahead of time can offer better assurance and peace of mind in the long run. Today is the eighth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day, aiming to “inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.” Both Residential Home Health and Residential Hospice recognize the value of considering these tough questions ahead of time, documenting your wishes, and communicating them clearly — including naming a trusted proxy to express them with and for you. Read on to learn what kind of decisions may arise, what preparatory steps you can take, and the importance of communication, not only during the decision-making process, but after.