Who Would Make Your Healthcare Decisions if You Were Unable to Make Them Yourself?
April 16th is “National Healthcare Decisions Day” – a perfect time to assess your advance care planning or start this process if you don’t already have a plan in place. This observance aims to educate, inspire, and empower individuals, so people understand the importance of advance care planning.
Life is unexpected, and you never know what could affect your health or cognitive ability in the future. If you were unable to make healthcare decisions on your own, who is the designated person to handle these crucial decisions?
What Is Advance Care Planning?
Advance care planning is a strategy for coordinating your future health care details. If you become seriously injured or ill and are no longer able to communicate your preferences, this plan outlines the services you would or would not like to receive.
When a patient is actively receiving medical services, there are often ongoing decisions that need to be made regarding the level of treatment, medications, rehabilitation, and more. Advance care planning creates an opportunity to consider and record your preferences for the services that you view as acceptable in the future.
Appointing a Decision Maker
Part of this documented plan involves choosing a substitute decision-maker who steps in as the point of contact on your behalf. This person is responsible for ensuring that medical providers and caregivers respect your preferences.
Choose one or more decision-makers that you trust to make healthcare decisions to reflect your wishes. Make sure the person has strong communication skills to maintain contact with the health providers. In addition, this person needs to have the ability to make difficult decisions under high-stress circumstances.
Benefits of Advance Care Planning
Everyone benefits when you are proactive about coordinating advance care planning. Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect:
- Rest assured knowing you will receive the level of care you actually want
- Improve the quality of end-of-life care
- Reduce burden and pressure on family members
- Higher satisfaction levels with medical care at this time
- Reduce unnecessary transfers for unwanted treatment and acute care
Regardless of your health or age, everyone can benefit from advance care planning and choosing a decision-maker. This step is particularly important for people who have a chronic illness, are in the later stages of life, have early signs of cognitive impairment, or have a terminal diagnosis.
Medical Services in Your Home
At Bonita Springs Healthcare Services, we can assist in implementing your care plan through in-home health services. Reach out to learn more about the available options to support patients in recovery and living with chronic health conditions.
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