Since 2008, April 16th has been designated as “National Healthcare Decisions Day” (NHDD).
It’s an initiative meant to “inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.”
In other words, National Healthcare Decisions Day is meant to get you to plan for your future…a future time during which you might be ill and others — most likely your family — will have to make decisions about your healthcare.
This is not a particularly unlikely scenario. Between the present-at-all-ages possibility of being in a bad accident and the increased likelihood of illness as one ages, you’d actually have to be quite lucky — or unlucky, depending on how you see it — to reach the end of your life without anyone else ever having to make a medical decision on your behalf.
Still, studies and surveys generally find that many of us have not taken the needed steps to “make our wishes known.”
And even among those who have “made their wishes known,” there’s usually more to it than they realize, and they often have skipped an important piece of the process. [Read more…]