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Healthcare Decisions Day

National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16 (and extended for the week of April 16-22, 2017), is an opportunity for you to review your current plans and consider new or updated plans for advance directives for healthcare.

We encourage all adults to prepare advance directives for their health care and for designating substitute decisions makers. As a starting point, consider the forms prepared by the state of Wisconsin for healthcare power of attorney and the declaration to physicians (living will). Other options for advance directives include in-depth programs like Honoring Choices or Five Wishes. Furthermore, sometimes individuals include other additions or addenda for personal preferences and religious beliefs.

Here are some tips for preparing and facilitating your own planning for having your wishes honored:

  • Discuss your wishes and philosophy with your loved ones—it is nearly impossible to cover all scenarios in a written document, so the conversation is key.
  • Provide a copy of your completed healthcare power of attorney and other advance directives to your doctor or clinic to be included in your medical records.
  • Carry your healthcare power of attorney (either paper copy or electronic file) with you when you travel.
  • Update your power of attorney with an addendum if anyone named in your documents gets a new telephone number or address—this can keep your file current without marking up your document with confusing notations.

To learn more about the National Healthcare Decisions Day, visit the official website, which includes numerous resources for planning and conversations with loved ones. Also, contact one of the attorneys at Christenson Johnson, LLC to discuss how best to plan for your healthcare decisions.