Are you one of the 80% of Americans who haven’t completed an Advanced Directive yet? We’ve all struggled with how to get started on this topic – and there are plenty of reasons why we resist:
- Not sure how to start
- Don’t know what’s legally binding
- Worried I’ll hurt someone’s feelings
- Just haven’t had the time to do it
Regardless of your own reasons not acting already, you might find your way to start the conversation by watching this three and a half minute video. It’s proof that it takes only a few minutes to start a conversation with your loved ones about advance care planning—a conversation that affects people for a lifetime:
After the goosebumps settle down from watching the video, here are some specific things you can do for NHDD:
- Lead by example. Schedule time with your loved ones (on or before April 16) to “Have the Talk” and complete your own advance directive. There are many tools, including free forms, you can use to walk you through the process and make your wishes known; access them through the NHDD Public Resources page.
- Encourage your loved ones and friends to learn more about advance directives and to complete their advance directives. You can forward this link: www.nhdd.org.
- Share your advance directive with your healthcare providers and make sure it is on file in the event it is needed.
- Like the NHDD Facebook fan page and share it with your Facebook friends
- On Twitter? Follow @NHDD and share the information with your followers, such as: Just 5 days to #NHDD, when will you have the talk? @NHDD can help: www.nhdd.org
- Share NHDD with your professional contacts on LinkedIn
- Send an email to your friends, staff, colleagues, lodge/social club members, and/or house of worship, telling them that you are participating in NHDD and encouraging them to do the same. Share the information above with them and/or use this template email:
- April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, and I hope that you will join me in taking this time to discuss and document your healthcare wishes. We all need to be prepared in the event of a health crisis, and having the talk is easier than most people think, but many of us need a little inspiration or a reminder to do it. I hope that this message and National Healthcare Decisions Day are all you need for inspiration. Please mark your calendar for April 16 to have the talk with your loved ones. There are all sorts of free resources, including free advance directive forms for each of the 50 states, on the NHDD website: www.nhdd.org. Additionally, please help me spread the word with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Advance care planning is something we ALL should do and encourage others to do, regardless of age or current health. Discussing your wishes can be one of the most important gifts you ever give your loved ones.
Founder and Chair
National Healthcare Decisions Day
Related Articles and Posts:
- 4 Perfect Questions When Faced an End-of-Life Situation
- The Power of Stories: Using "The Descendants" As a Teaching Tool
- Facing Death: Choosing Quality of Life Over Aggressive Treatment
- Recommended Reading for Healthcare Decisions Day