Only 29% of Americans have a living will or their end-of-life preferences in place. As shocking as that number is, even the most conscientious planners tend to postpone the potentially awkward conversations and difficult decisions that can precede writing a living will. Hopefully, National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16th will help change all that. The goal of NHDD is to “inspire, educate and empower the public & providers about the importance of advance care planning.”
No matter how well they plan in other areas of their lives, most people are stalling when it comes to creating an advanced directive. And they are not alone. Those of us in senior care have a special opportunity to help seniors and families think through their end-of-life preferences. Fortunately, NHDD.org offers many resources to help spread the message of the importance of advanced planning to members of your community, including stickers, posters, and presentations. These materials can help to educate your residents about the various options, including an advance directive, living will and the popular “five wishes.”
- Host an Event: Give residents an opportunity to learn more about their planning options by hosting an informative event. Invite lawyers, financial planners and other professionals to your community to educate your residents and to offer them the guidance they need to make informed decisions.
- Make It Easy: Make planning materials, such as the “Five Wishes” document, readily available to residents and to their families.
- Enlist a Champion: Chances are, there are a couple of residents in your community who are already benefitting from the peace of mind and confidence that planning can bring. Ask them to help start a “Five Wishes” club, and encourage members to complete their own plans.
Even though National Healthcare Decisions Day only happens once a year, make advance care planning a regular topic of information and conversation in your community, and you will be offering the valuable gift of peace of mind to your residents and their families.
At Silversphere we are passionate about senior care. We feel our responsibility is much greater than just creating nurse call, emergency call, or life safety systems. We want provide resources and create awareness for anything that allows seniors to truly live more safe, secure, independent, and dignified lives. Contact us and let us know how National Healthcare Decisions Day impacted your communities.