So you’re an individual in an organization that isn’t doing anything for NHDD, what can you do? ... The Pledge!
We can all start with ourselves... including me! I did my advance directive about three years ago, and since then have learned that the person I chose as my agent hates hospitals. I chose this person because they are the most practical decision maker in the family so I thought it made sense if the situation arises where difficult decisions need to be made about my healthcare, he could be the one to do it. Well except for that thing about hating hospitals.
So now we’re just two days from NHDD and I’m going to take the pledge to update my advance directive, and do my absolute best to discuss my wishes with my family. One of the hardest aspects of advance care planning for me in the past has been discussions with my family. Just the thought of it makes me slightly anxious. I think they hear me talk about how important it is so often that they don’t hear me. So I get disappointed, if I can’t talk to my family about my healthcare decisions, who am I to be advocating to anyone else about how important advance directives are? This is something Christian Sinclair and I have often discussed and as disheartening as it may be, sometimes your family sees you as just that, family, regardless of the insight you may have from your professional experience.
So I hope many of you will join National Healthcare Decisions Day this year, even if that means pulling your advance directive out of the closet and reading it through to make sure the language matches your wishes for where you are in life now.
If you are feeling brave as a healthy adult (yes, advance care planning isn't just for people who are old or experiencing a serious illness) to embark on the advance care planning journey, you are not abnormal if the language is intimidating, write down any questions you have as you go through the document and then bring those questions with you at your next doctor visit.
Whatever you decide to do this year, we hope that you will continue to be a part of the National Healthcare Decisions Day community, share your stories, invite another person to take the NHDD pledge and help us move towards a time where all healthcare is directed by each individual’s goals of care.
The NHDD Pledge