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April 16th - National Healthcare Decisions Day - Have You Made Yours?

Today is National Healthcare Decisions Day. Why is this important to you and your loved ones?

Because it raises awareness about the importance of advance care planning while encouraging people to make informed decisions about their healthcare preferences and to communicate those preferences to their loved ones and healthcare providers.

Having a healthcare directive in place allows individuals to specify their wishes regarding medical treatment in the event they become unable to communicate or make decisions for themselves. This ensures that their wishes are respected and followed, reducing the burden on family members and healthcare providers who may otherwise have to make difficult decisions without clear guidance.

By observing National Healthcare Decisions Day, communities, organizations, and healthcare professionals can educate the public about the importance of advance care planning, provide resources to help individuals create their directives, and facilitate conversations about end-of-life care and medical decision-making. Ultimately, NHDD empowers individuals to take control of their healthcare decisions and helps ensure that their wishes are honored.

Not many of us like to think about our own mortality, much less sit down and write what our wishes are on paper. However, taking the time to do this will be one of the biggest gifts you can give your loved ones, as it will give them a sense of direction in a very difficult time when they are already grieving your loss.

How can you get access to a Healthcare Directive?. Here in Idaho, you can visit the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's page to start the process of creating an Advanced Directive. Make certain once you complete your Advanced Directive that you give your doctor a copy for your records, and one to a trusted loved one. Once you have completed the process, you can rest easier knowing your final wishes will be respected.

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