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April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day

Saturday is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the need to make proactive plans for health care treatment in the event a person becomes incapacitated and unable to state their wishes when facing a health crisis. Each year Senior Solutions and the Caring Workplace like to take this opportunity to remind our clients and families of the importance of this process.

Creating Advance Directives and Durable Power of Attorney forms to communicate health care decisions is an important step. This ensures that family members are able to act in the best interest of their loved one if that individual is in need of treatment and unable to make informed decisions themselves.

Making good health care decisions can be an extremely difficult challenge under the best of circumstances, but that challenge becomes emotional and overwhelming in the midst of a true crisis or trauma. It is important that each of us be willing to assume this responsibility and take a proactive approach, not only for ourselves but also for the sake of our loved ones who would be put in the position of having to make those decisions on our behalf.

The goal of NHDD is to make sure that people have the information they need to make health care choices that will ensure their dignity and care. They have designed a website at www.nhdd.org which includes a resource library, fact sheets, and sample forms for advance directives. This website is updated each year and includes extensive resources for Caregivers including resources specifically designed for initiating difficult conversations about health care decisions with loved ones. There is an interactive website, tip sheets, and forms designed to help families think and talk about what decisions would be made if a loved one became ill.

The staff at Caring Workplace and Senior Solutions can also assist you and your family with this process, providing guidance, resources, and support. Please contact us at any time to receive information specifically for your area. We can also help obtain forms if you or your loved one is out of state, as different regulations may apply.

For additional information about this or any other caregiver related issue, please contact your ElderCare Specialist Heather Spindler, MSW, at 314-802-5106 or via email at hspindler@seniorsolutions-stl.com.