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    Give Family A Gift

    Below is a contribution from Randi Siegel, NHDD State Liaison in Pennsylvania.

    Nathan Kottkamp recently blogged here about the power of stories to motivate people to do advance care planning.  The Descendants, an award-winning film starring George Clooney, is one story that we can all use as a teaching tool.

    First of all, just mentioning George Clooney may help get folks’ attention.  So, too, may the publicity around this movie (including Golden Globes for best picture, best actor Clooney, and an Oscar for best adapted screenplay).   

    The film sets up Clooney as a middle-aged husband whose vital, healthy wife has just been seriously injured in a tragic boat racing accident.  She now lies in a coma on life support.  At her bedside, Clooney’s character, Matt King, pleads with his wife to awaken from her coma.  After three weeks of waiting, doctors tell the anguished King that she will never wake again.

    Click to read more ...


    Honoring Decisions

    Last winter, as I celebrated the holidays with family, I was grateful for something a bit unusual... a family that is familiar with my wishes regarding end-of-life care. 

    I recently completed the Five Wishes document, which gives us each an opportunity to think about and write down what we want if we are in a position where we face a life-limiting illness or injury and cannot speak for ourselves. The other important factor is to then take it a step further and talk about what we want with our loved ones.

    I'm teaching a course about end-of-life care, and insisted that all of the faculty complete the forms before we asked others to do it.

    Insiting people satrted with themselves meant I had to finally bite the bullet and think about this myself.

    Click to read more ...


    2012 NHDD Blog Rally

    You're invited!

    Are you still not sure what you're going to do for National Healthcare Decisions Day? As an individual, there's something for everyone, whether you complete your own advance directive, update your advance directive, make sure your family knows what's on your advance directive, start advance care planning conversations with family or friends and now you can donate a spot on your blog. Something as simple as a tweet and facebook post can help raise awareness so hopefully you'll consider participating in the blog rally. Last April we hosted the first NHDD Blog Rally, inspired by the Engage With Grace initiative every Thanksgiving.  We are just one week away from National Healthcare Decisions Day and are hosting a second annual Blog Rally for NHDD. All are welcome to participate to help raise awareness about the importance of advance care planning. 

    Click to read more ...


    A Conversation With Nathan


    AARP's Inside E Street interviewed NHDD Founder, Nathan Kottkamp and we wanted to highlight this conversation as we're getting closer to the fifth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day.



    One Month Until NHDD!

    As the Fifth Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day approaches, I cannot help but think about how far we’ve come and what we’ve accomplished.  NHDD was founded out of the passion of a small group of dedicated people and organizations who recognized that we need to do better as a nation with respect to advance care planning.  The efforts have produced a grassroots initiative that has now touched the lives of millions.  And, we’ve done it with very little money and without a single full-time staffer.

    The growth and impact numbers of NHDD are and should be a great source of pride, but the reality is that we’ve only just begun. 

    A recent study in California found that approximately 80% of people said they believed that advance healthcare planning was important, yet less than 25% had actually engaged in it. At a minimum, those figures ought to be flipped.  Sadly, for untold numbers of those without their advance care planning in place, their families are going to be thrust into situations in which they will intimately understand the reality of why advance care planning is so important, which is that the absence of advance care planning all-to-often leads to pain, confusion, frustration, additional time and expense, worry, bickering, and myriad other horribles. 

    It is my sincere hope that every adult in the US (and Canada, too, since they’ve joined our efforts with National Advance Care Planning Day), will have some exposure to NHDD and will then make it real in their own lives. 

    Too many of us procrastinate on advance care planning discussions because the timing now just doesn’t feel right or because it’s a hard topic to broach. 

    NHDD exists to eliminate the excuse.  With just one month until the fifth annual NHDD, just mark you calendar, gather your loved ones, watch the Speak Up video and have the talk.  And, when you’re done, be sure to document the discussion using one of free advance care planning forms.  When you do, the reality will sink in: a burden is lifted and you’re prepared.  It’s an awesome feeling.

    Thanks to all who have made and continue to make NHDD a reality.