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When is National Healthcare Decisions Day?

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16th.

What is National Healthcare Decisions Day?

The end of life brings hard questions. Do you keep life support going, or no? Nobody wants to answer that question, but especially not in the middle of stress and grief. National Healthcare Decisions Day encourages people to learn their options and plan for end of life care well before it seems necessary.

Advance directives are legal written statements that detail how people wish to be treated in the event they’re unable to communicate. They often contain the person’s preferences regarding life support, pain management, and the choice between “comfort care” or further medical treatment.

Where do you discuss end-of-life care, also known as palliative care? The living room is a better place to start the conversation than the emergency room. It’s not an easy discussion, but avoiding it shifts the responsibility to your family, probably at a time they already feel overwhelmed by emotions. An advance directive removes the burden from your family.

Talking about options and preferences with the people you care about the most can minimize that emotional trauma. National Healthcare Decisions Day is a great day to start the conversation.

Facts about National Healthcare Decisions Day!

  • Anyone over the age of 18 should have an advance directive.
  • Advance directives are free, legal documents. No lawyer is necessary to complete one, and you can even find downloadable templates online.

How to celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day:

  • Research end of life planning and advance directives, even if you’re young and healthy.
  • Discuss your preferences for end of life care with your family. Be gentle, but be sure to have the conversation before it’s too late. Find resources online that can help with that conversation.
  • Create an advance directive. Make sure your spouse and adult family members have one too.

What’s the hashtag for National Healthcare Decisions Day?

Spread the word by using #NHDD on social media.