News & Events

This Talk Is Critically Important

Patient in hospital bed holding hands with visitor

End-of-life care… it’s not something we typically want to talk about, but we need to.

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a national initiative to educate the public about the value of advance care planning.

By encouraging early action, NHDD hopes to prompt you to have conversations about end-of-life care preferences in the comfort of your home with those you love, rather than in the hospital intensive care unit. A shared understanding of what matters most to you and yours can ease the weight of decision-making when the time comes and ensure that the wishes of those involved are expressed and respected through an advance directive.

Starting that conversation might be a challenge. A national 2018 survey by The Conversation Project found that 90% of people say talking with loved ones about end-of-life care is important, but that only 30% had actually done so.

If you need help taking the first step toward a conversation, it’s easy to find resources through NHDD and The Conversation Project.

They recommend approaching it in steps:

1 Get Ready

Identify particular concerns or what you need to do to be comfortable.

2 Get Set

Finish this sentence: What matters to me at the end of life is …

3 Go

Identify who you want to talk to, and what you want to say.

4 Keep Going

Clarify details if needed and complete important legal documents like a durable power of attorney for health care (health proxy), and an advance directive.