National Health Care Decisions Day

Contributed by Carolyn A.W. Whitworth

National Health Care Decisions Day, for its 10th anniversary, is being “celebrated” all week – April 16 – 22, 2017.  The event focuses on making health care planning, including healthcare proxies and advance directives/ living wills, a normal part of life.  A health care proxy is a power of attorney that provides for another individual to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so for yourself.  An advance directive or living will provides instructions or guidance as to what care you do and do not want in various situations, typically at end-of-life.

Begin the week by making sure that you not only have health care documents in place but that those documents still reflect your wishes and appoint agents who can and will carry out those wishes.  Then make sure that your family, friends, and others around you have appropriate documents.  Discuss your documents with your family and your agents.  Make sure that they understand your wishes.  Finally, remember to review your documents periodically – when your health situation changes, when your family situation changes, and after the passage of a few years.

If you do not have a health care proxy or an advance directive / living will, contact Carolyn Whitworth or (412) 594-3923.