National Healthcare Decisions Day is the perfect time to give yourself the peace of mind you deserve.
WHAT IS NATIONAL HEALTHCARE DECISIONS DAY?
National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is an annual event celebrated on April 16th worldwide. NHDD is a national initiative to empower and encourage all adults to plan for and safeguard against a health crisis in the future, a process called advance care planning. Making important decisions about your health ahead of time can alleviate a potential situation’s difficulty, providing you and your loved ones with peace of mind. This requires planning on the part of you, your family, and your healthcare community.
The timing could not make it more clear how important planning for unexpected health issues is. Given the current public health crisis, people’s health is at the forefront of their minds, and the best way to ease any anxiety is to prepare well for any situation. These situations are usually hard to avoid – for instance, nobody can predict when a global pandemic might occur – but by planning with uncertainty in mind, you can much more effectively manage the big picture.
The ideology behind National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is not just for families but also for medical professionals and their patients. At Southwest OBGYN, we know how important it is to take your health into your own hands at the right time and are eager to assist with your decision-making. It is so essential for women to empower themselves with the knowledge to make these impactful decisions.
STARTING (AND PARTICIPATING IN) A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER
We want to stress to our patients and their families the importance of talking in-depth about the types of care desired when faced with serious issues or a chronic illness. These questions ask you to think about the highest priority to you and go from there. Your personal choices should guide your planning, so it’s vital to move forward with what you’re comfortable with.
To better equip yourself with what you might need, there are many great medical decision resources available that include:
An advance directive is a living will that allows you to document your wishes about medical treatment options at the end of life in writing. This is a great way to outline the care you wish to receive or refuse. Advance directives differ by state, so be sure to pick the correct form for you.
POWER OF ATTORNEY OR HEALTHCARE PROXY
Giving someone rights under a power of attorney is a serious undertaking and should be taken as such. Whoever you appoint will be known as your agent or healthcare proxy and will be legally authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf. As with all complex legal matters, the definitions differ by state. NHDD was designed to help you learn more about these differences and the laws about your healthcare.
HEALTHCARE PREFERENCES AND CHOICES
The world inside of hospital walls can be overwhelming if you ever find yourself there unexpectedly. There are so many choices regarding care and procedures that can impact your well-being if you’re undergoing serious health issues. These include the use of CPR, intubation, ventilators, artificial hydration (IVs), artificial nutrition (also known as tube feeding), and comfort or palliative care. If you haven’t planned accordingly, it can be difficult for others to make these decisions for you.
When it comes to a health crisis, it is never too early to plan. Join the women and men who have taken control of their health and celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day. Let Southwest OBGYN show you what you can do to ensure that your rights and wants matter in any event.