Healthcare decisions, decisions, decisions!

Healthcare directives could be the most important and compassionate gift you ever provide your loved ones.

Healthcare directives could be the most important and compassionate gift you ever provide your loved ones.

by Mary Sanders — 

Making healthcare decisions is a subject people often would rather avoid. The subject of an advance directive document is so low on people’s to-do lists, one might just turn to the last page and start glancing upward. But, healthcare directives could be the most important and compassionate gift you ever provide your loved ones.

Unfortunately, less than 25 percent of Americans take the time to communicate their wishes for their care, should they become unable to do so for themselves. A medical power of attorney may, in some cases, not be specific enough to guide your loved ones about making medical decisions for your care. If and when you become unable to communicate your wishes, an advanced directive can be very specific about desired methods of treatment for specific diagnoses.

Education is the key to making healthcare decisions that confirm your wishes. The directives help you express your wishes clearly, guiding your family or friends who may be struggling with your preferences for treatment and care. There are many resources available to help a person make informative decisions and provide help in the completion of the lengthy documentation process.

Give some thought to these items and take a little time now to research your options. Talk with your doctor, family and friends, and express your healthcare choices should you become unable to communicate. Then, document your choices in writing.

Register your choice with the Arizona Advance Health Care Directive Registry.

Enjoy life and be proud that you have joined the growing number of Americans who care enough to be prepared for emergency medical decisions.

More information can be obtained about advance directives, living wills and healthcare (medical) power of attorney by contacting Hospice of the Valley about the Health Care Decisions Project at 602-222-2229 or by visiting www.hcdecisions.org.

To register your directives with the State of Arizona, contact the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office at 602-542-4285 or www.azsos.gov under the Advance Directive Registry section.

Think about it — the worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all!

 

Mary Sanders has dedicated this article in loving memory of her father, Eldrick J. Wells, who recently passed away and had directives in place to help with difficult decisions regarding his end-of-life care. 602-522-9800 or marymarysanders@cox.net.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 6, December 2005/January 2006.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Web Analytics