About two weeks ago (in my April 4th post), I wrote a personal plea (on behalf of myself and the rest of the NHDD team) to you-everyone from hardcore National Healthcare Decisions Day advocates to high-profile advance care planning supporters and cynical members of the media- to get behind this national initiative. I asked you to not only complete your own advance directive, but to inspire others by demonstrating the courage to share your advance care planning story with the nation, maybe even the world. I knew my reasoning was logical, my example was my own so it was personal enough, but still I wasn't sure how you'd respond. However, today-some 12 days later-I sit here sorry that I ever doubted you. It is clear that you are extremely committed to educating Americans about the importance of making healthcare decisions now in order to prepare for the medical unknown later (like I urged in my Monday post)! I am simply overwhelmed and moved to tears by the number of heartfelt stories you shared with us. So, as promised, I am sharing your stories and your plans to honor NHDD here over the next few days in hopes that they will serve to inspire others. First up is...
Tonight the hospice and palliative care online community will be dedicating their weekly #hpm Tweetchat to discussing advance care planning with the #HaveTheTalk hashtag as a way to support the NHDD initiative.
For people not on Twitter, we’ll start by explaining a hashtag which basically is a way on Twitter to organize Tweets (short messages on Twitter) around a topic. Placing the # symbol in front of a word
"'Would you like to discuss your end-of-life plans today?' I ask my patients this question, though not as often as I'd like. Talking about death may be uncomfortable, but it's a conversation that needs to happen more often." --Kevin Pho, MD.
Dr. Kevin Pho's assertion is one that may have been cause for pause for patients and families years ago. However, as people continue to become educated on the value of advance care planning through initiatives like National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), it is a sentiment that is garnering the thought and consideration it deserves amongst medical professionals, patients and families.
Rallying to Encourage and Empower Us All to Make Our Healthcare Decisions Now for the Unknown Later…
College education. Career path. Relationships. Starting a family.
Buying or selling a house. Vacations. Retirement. From the age that we’re old enough to understand, most of us are taught and accept that these are the markers in life that we plan for. However, there’s one key marker that’s all-too-often missing from this list: healthcare decision-making. Like planning for these other life events, planning for the time (or times) that we are unable to express our healthcare wishes is of the utmost importance. It is something that should be well thought out, documented and revisited at different points in life to reflect any change in our desires or family situation or the person we wish to advocate for us. Unfortunately, it is a planning point that that majority of us have missed. As a consequence patients’ families suffer the added burden of having to guess when a health crisis happens. That’s why Nathan Kottkamp founded National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) back in 2008 and why this nationwide advance care planning awareness initiative is as important as ever. So this year, I’ve joined my fellow bloggers throughout the country to spread the word about the importance of advance care planning with this special NHDD edition blog.