NHPCO Encourages All Americans to Learn about Advance Care Planning on National Healthcare Decisions Day, July 16, 2020
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, along with other national, state and community organizations, is working to raise awareness of advance care planning on National Healthcare Decisions Day, an annual day of national outreach that falls the day after citizens across the U.S. have completed their federal income tax returns. Traditionally, NHDD is marked on April 16 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the income tax deadline for 2020 was July 15 – and today is National Healthcare Decisions Day!
“National Healthcare Decisions Day is an important day of awareness and education, focused on encouraging everyone – including those who are healthy and in the prime of their life – to think about, document and share decisions about the care they would want if faced with a medical crisis,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach.
Advance healthcare decision-making includes completing an advance directive (also known as a living will) and appointing a healthcare power of attorney (someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself). However, equally important are the conversations with family and loved ones about healthcare preferences and choices.
Documenting your end-of-life wishes in the event that you are terminally ill or critically injured and unable to talk or communicate is important for all people, regardless of age or medical status. Hospice and palliative care providers are important sources of information for advance care planning and many hospice and palliative care organizations are actively working to promote awareness and provide advance directives, not only on July 16 but all year long.
NHPCO’s CaringInfo.org website has free, state-specific advance directive forms and information on advance care planning. Help ensure your loved ones and healthcare providers know how to honor your care decisions by filling out these important documents today.
“With healthcare, ‘your decisions matter,’ however, others need to know your wishes to honor them. There are no wrong answers when thinking about healthcare choices and completing an advance directive. Please use National Healthcare Decisions Day to decide, discuss, and document your wishes, whatever they may be,” said Nathan Kottkamp, Founder and Chair of National Healthcare Decisions Day.