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 or update your own advance directive, make sure your family knows what's on your advance directive and start advance care planning conversations with family or friends. Now you can donate a spot on your blog. Something as simple as a tweet and a Facebook post can help raise awareness so hopefully you'll consider participating in this blog rally. Last April we hosted the first NHDD Blog Rally, inspired by the Engage With Grace initiative that happens 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. 

How does the NHDD Blog Rally Work?

Simple, take a break from blogging for the day and schedule this post for April 16th, 2012 from NHDD founder Nathan Kottkamp. (You can just copy and paste Nathan's NHDD message out of this word document and into your blog)

Why participate in the NHDD Blog Rally?

Even if you don't have a blog, helping amplify this message in a Facebook post or a few tweets can help increase awareness about the importance of advance care planning. If you do have a blog, the NHDD Blog Rally is a great way to take a quick break from blogging and join this grassroots effort to ensure healthcare decisions are made and directed by the individual that will recieve care.

The NHDD Blog Rally Post:

Blogging for National Healthcare Decisions Day: A Rally for Our Loved Ones and Ourselves

In honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), April 16, I’m taking a break from blogging this week and spending my writing time with my loved ones.  I hope that this guest post, by Nathan Kottkamp, Founder and Chair of NHDD, will inspire you to think about the conversations we should all be having with our own loved ones about an uncomfortable but important topic – planning for when we die. 

Are you one of the 80% of Americans who haven’t completed an Advanced Directive yet? We’ve all struggled with how to get started on this topic – and there are plenty of reasons why we resist: 

  • Fear
  • Uncertainty 
  • Not sure how to start 
  • Don’t know what’s legally binding 
  • Worried I’ll hurt someone’s feelings
  • Just haven’t had the time to do it  

 That’s why we recognize April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) – a movement designed to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.  Put another way, NHDD is a day for all adults to mark their calendars, have the talk, and document the talk with an advance directive.  

Regardless of your own reasons not acting already, you might find your way to start the conversation by watching Speak Up, an awesome three and a half minute video. It’s proof that it takes only a few minutes to start a conversation with your loved ones about advance care planning—a conversation that affects people for a lifetime.  

After the goose bumps settle down from watching the video, here are some specific things you can do for NHDD:

  • Lead by example.  Schedule time with your loved ones (on or before April 16) to “Have the Talk” and complete your own advance directive. There are many tools, including free forms, you can use to walk you through the process and make your wishes known; access them through the NHDD Public Resources page.
  • Encourage your loved ones and friends to learn more about advance directives and to complete their advance directives. You can forward this link:
  • Share your advance directive with your healthcare providers and make sure it is on file in the event it is needed. 

Already had the conversation with your loved ones, but want to do more?  Here a few suggestions to rally support for NHDD and encourage even more action:

  • Like the NHDD Facebook fan page and share it with your Facebook friends
  • On Twitter? Follow @NHDD and share the information with your followers, such as: Just 5 days to #NHDD, when will you have the talk? @NHDD can help:
  • Share NHDD with your professional contacts on LinkedIn
  • Send an email to your friends, staff, colleagues, lodge/social club members, and/or house of worship, telling them that you are participating in NHDD and encouraging them to do the same.  Share the information above with them and/or use this template email:
    • April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, and I hope that you will join me in taking this time to discuss and document your healthcare wishes.  We all need to be prepared in the event of a health crisis, and having the talk is easier than most people think, but many of us need a little inspiration or a reminder to do it.  I hope that this message and National Healthcare Decisions Day are all you need for inspiration.  Please mark your calendar for April 16 to have the talk with your loved ones.  There are all sorts of free resources, including free advance directive forms for each of the 50 states, on the NHDD website:  Additionally, please help me spread the word with Twitter,Facebook, andLinkedIn. Advance care planning is something we ALL should do and encourage others to do, regardless of age or current health.  Discussing your wishes can be one of the most important gifts you ever give your loved ones.

Please use and share the resources available through the NHDD website and encourage and empower us all to make our healthcare decisions now for whenever they will need to be known.

Nathan Kottkamp

Founder and Chair

National Healthcare Decisions Day