Wednesday, April 16, 2014

National Healthcare Decisions Day

Today, April 16, 2014, Hospice of Southern Illinois celebrates National Healthcare Decisions Day by spreading the word to the communities we serve about planning now for peace of mind later. Planning is what we do. We plan our work schedules, social lives, meetings, dinner dates, when we can afford a new pair of shoes, what time to work out and even for special events. If we plan for all of this and more, why not plan for peace of mind? This is the question that really gets left behind in the day-to-day shuffle. Let’s get one more thing checked off that to do list: prepare an advance directive, an important healthcare decision.
An advance directive is a fancy way of saying preparing legal documents that “direct” what to do in “advance” before a healthcare crisis strikes. In short, an advance directive includes two legal documents that protect your right to refuse or request medical treatment in the event you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. The two legal documents include the “Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care” and “Illinois Living Will.”
People are encouraged to get a business-card sized piece of paper and put it in a purse or wallet. On that card note a name, who the healthcare power of attorney is, their contact information and any other information you see fit. Keep it simple. In the time of healthcare crisis, this allows people around you who may not know your healthcare decisions to know who to call or what to do. Great idea!  

{Wallet Card Example}

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization provides great information to assist in learning about making these decisions and help navigate through those legal documents: Furthermore, the Illinois Department of Public Health website,, provides the documents that can be used to make these decisions. So, take one hour to make these decisions, share them with those you care about and give yourself (and others) peace of mind. Hospice of Southern Illinois also has a team who is able to help if you need assistance with any steps along the way.  
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message: Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones. No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education

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