Every single adult needs to have an advance health care directive written, signed and in place. This includes your children, as soon as they turn 18. This includes you. This includes your parents.
Without an advance health care directive in place, you would not be able to access your child’s medical records, if they are unable to communicate permission. You would not be able to ensure your health care decisions will be made the way you choose. And your parents lose the ability to communicate their wishes and remain in control as long as possible.
April 16 is National Healthcare Decision Day (NHDD). Here is what you can do on April 16 – or any other day – to have the conversation you need to have about advance healthcare planning:
- Look inward. Before executing an advance healthcare directive with the help of your Personal Family Lawyer®, think about what you do – or don’t – want to happen if you were unable to make your own decisions. Think about the people you would want to carry out those decisions and if the person you have in mind will follow your wishes.
- Talk to your family. One of the most tormenting things for families is having to make healthcare decisions for a loved one by having to guess what they would want. Communicate your wishes to your family so you don’t put them in this stressful position.
- Talk to your healthcare providers. Let your primary physician and any other healthcare provider know about your decisions about your healthcare. Ask any questions to alleviate any concerns you or your family may have.
- Execute your advance healthcare directive. Once you have decided upon your healthcare options and have chosen an agent, meet with your Personal Family Lawyer® to complete your official advance healthcare directive. Have copies made for your family and your primary healthcare provider.
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