National Healthcare Decisions Day



Hello! Welcome to the Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC blog by A RN: Disclosed also known as Danielle Harris.

Previously I have written 2 other blog posts that relate to this blog post. The blogs were titled “Will and Testament?” and “Palliative Care: Everyone Will Benefit”.

As National Healthcare Decisions Day, which was April 16 passes on, I wanted to take this time to write about the importance of advocating for you, your loved ones, and friends even when unable to do so. 

If you did not know, that National Healthcare Decisions Day was April 16, it is not too late. You can do this at any time. National Healthcare Decisions Day is a collaborative effort of organizations committed to ensuring those people with decision making capacity have the information and resources to communicate and document their future health care decisions. Many organizations who support this day will trail on until April 22nd supporting this mission and raising awareness. 

My previous blog post “Will and Testament?” provides some resources you can use. Palliative care is a way to introduce the subject to those who are afraid to approach the subject. 

Advance care planning involves making future health care decisions that include much more than deciding what care you would or would not want; it starts with expressing preferences, clarifying values, and selecting an agent/person to express health care decisions if you are unable to speak for yourself.

This fact is particularly important, if you are caring for someone with some type of Dementia. As their decision making capacity will continue to decline with progression of the condition. So, it is best if these decisions are made before decision making capacity is gone. 

You can just start with, “What do I/you want at the end of life?” Many times, I have been told by patients, they do not want to die in the hospital. So, I encourage them to write that in their advance care plan. Our experiences in the past, with other loved ones who have died, typically give us insight into what we do and do not want for ourselves. As a result, it could be beneficial for you to think back to those experiences to make your list of "do's" and "do not's". If this will be too painful, then, please do not.  

Although this post is about National Healthcare Decisions Day, many times discussing advanced care planning requires several conversations; not just one. I have found as a Registered Nurse and Certified Care Manager, many patients and families have questions; which is great, but many questions can not and should not be answered in 1 session or even in 1 day. 

Completion of advanced care planning takes sessions and days, but it is imperative it is done before the crisis, disaster, or catastrophe strikes. 

Please know, there is not 1 specific set guide, book, or person that can prepare and cover all the decisions that you and your family may face. However, having a plan in place, written, and ready to go can provide shared understanding of what matters most to you and your loved ones during a time that is difficult; thus allowing your loved ones to cope quicker and easier. 

So, to get started, visit, https://theconversationproject.org/ and download the free “Conversation Starter Kit”

๐Ÿ”†        ๐Ÿ’—        ๐Ÿ˜

Thank you for reading, the official Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC blog by Danielle Harris, MSN, BSN, RN, CMC, CDP also known as A RN: Disclosed!

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