Advance care planning is not just for seniors. A medical crisis can strike at any time rendering the patient unable to make his own medical decisions. It is best, when able and healthy, to plan ahead so that you receive the medical attention you desire in the future, even if physicians, family and friends make those decisions for you.
Regardless of age, learn about the types of decisions that might have to be made, consider them in advance, then inform others about your preferences and values with an Advance Health Care Directive which takes effect if you become incapacitated and cannot communicate.
There are other documents, such as a Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST), that supplement an Advance Health Care Directive with more detailed instructions about your medical wishes.
Advance care planning is the best way to ensure your wishes are known, understood and respected. Musical artist Ise Lyfe (Director, Comfort Homesake) and Marilyn Ababio (Hospice Services Coordinator, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency) explain why: http://ow.ly/tSBtg
This video, donated by the Canadian Speak Up Campaign to the National Healthcare Decisions Day effort, reinforces the message:http://vimeo.com/36052824
Please visit nhdd.org and take action on April 16, 2014 (National Healthcare Decisions Day) and be sure your family, friends, colleagues, associations, etc. do the same. Your decisions matter.