Because preparation is often the key to contentment, especially when it comes to personal healthcare decisions, Valley Hospice once again will provide free community outreach events throughout April as part of the fifth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16.
Information will be provided about creating a medical power of attorney and a living will at each of the events, said Chip Railing, Valley Hospice social worker. Throughout the United States, more than 75 national organizations and 660 state and local groups will have informational events to explain the benefits of creating these directives, he added.
Less than one-third of all adults have a living will or any kind of advance directive to make their healthcare wishes known in the event of a catastrophic illness, Railing said. Such advance directives allow a patient to formalize their healthcare choices if they are unable to speak for themselves in the future.
The healthcare power of attorney specifies the person or persons you elect to be your voice regarding healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself due to your illness, Railing explained. The living will states what kinds of medical treatments you would or would not want at the end of life, he added.
"These two documents can ease what often is a difficult time for both the patient and loved ones. Even young, healthy adults should consider the importance of signifying their wishes in the event of a sudden or catastrophic illness," Railing said.
Valley Hospice social workers and registered nurses will be on hand to answer questions and provide guidelines for those participating to create their own plan when they return home.
Events and co-sponsoring institutions include: