[O]nly about 25% of adults have an advance care plan. As a consequence patients’ families suffer the added burden of having to guess when a health crisis happens. That’s why National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) was founded 10 years ago and why this nationwide advance care planning awareness initiative is as important as ever….
NHDD, which happens every April 16—and is a week-long event this year—is a collaborative effort of thousands of national, state, and community organizations as well as dedicated individual advocates committed to ensuring that adult Americans–like you and me—have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions.
If you haven’t had the talk already, check out the awesome three and a half minute “Imagine” video [below, or] on the NHDD homepage: www.nhdd.org. 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 the week of 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 or visit the NHPCO CaringInfo.org website for information.
- 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.
- TAKE THE DARE! I DARE YOU to have the talk about advance care planning and dare others as well! When you do, share it on whatever outlet you prefer and use #healthtalkdare (and #NHDD) wherever possible. If you don’t accept my dare, you should make a donation to NHDD And, while my dare is about inspiring action, you get bonus points if you accept the dare AND make a donation! (Note: you don’t have to share the specific contents of your talk—that’s your business—just share the fact that you did it.)
- Share your advance directive with your healthcare providers and make sure it is on file in the event it is needed.
For even more ideas, see the original NHPCO blog post here.