April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day
Newburgh, NY – Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, Inc., following The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), is encouraging Americans to use National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, as an opportunity to pause and think about their health care wishes and to take action to make sure their wishes are known, even if they unable to direct their own care.
National Healthcare Decisions Day is recognized each year on April 16 – the day after the date traditionally known as tax day – as a way to engage the public in conversations that encourage people to think about their wishes for their health care, particularly at the end of life, with the goal of getting people to document those plans, and let loved ones know their wishes.
NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach said, “Hospice and palliative care providers always put patients at the center of the care plan. National Healthcare Decisions Day reminds everyone to do that for themselves: put yourself at the center and think about your own health care wishes. Then, if your loved ones ever need to direct your care, they will know what you want because your voice has been heard.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people into caregiving roles they never imagined for themselves. Making decisions for a loved one who cannot do it for themselves can be agonizing. So take time to think through the possible scenarios and make your wishes known to those who care about you most.
Advance care planning includes completing an Advance Directive (also known as a living will) and appointing a Health Care Power of Attorney (someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself). Then, most importantly, share your decisions with your family and loved ones.
Please go to our Community Resources webpage for information from NHPCO’s Caringinfo.org and other links to help you plan your healthcare decisions.