Every year, National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) underscores the importance of proactive healthcare decision-making—a fundamental aspect often overlooked until critical moments arise. At Brickyard Healthcare, we recognize the significance of this day and the profound impact that thoughtful, advance care planning (ACP) can have on our patients and their families.

NHDD offers a timely reminder to all of us about the importance of discussing and documenting our healthcare wishes. Such conversations ensure that our preferences are understood and respected, no matter what the future holds. It’s not just about making decisions for end-of-life care. It’s about making choices that align with our values and wishes at every stage of healthcare.

Brickyard Healthcare’s Alignment with NHDD

At Brickyard Healthcare, aligning with NHDD is more than an annual event, it is an integral part of our mission to empower our patients and their families. It is woven into our everyday practices, where we encourage conversations about healthcare decisions as a routine part of care, not just a response to crisis situations. Our commitment to ACP is reflected in our range of services designed to cater to both short-term and long-term care needs, ensuring that our patients’ preferences are front and center in our caregiving approach.

By providing clear, consistent information and support, we help facilitate these important conversations and demystify the healthcare decision-making process. This initiative is designed to make the process of advance care planning less daunting and more accessible, empowering our patients to make informed decisions about their health care. It resonates deeply with our commitment to fostering a community where every individual feels heard, respected, and cared for.

Key Components of Advance Care Planning

ACP involves several key components, each designed to ensure that healthcare decisions are made according to an individual’s preferences and values. Here’s an overview of these essential elements:

Healthcare Proxies and Their Roles

A healthcare proxy, also known as a durable power of attorney for healthcare, is a person appointed to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to communicate your wishes. Selecting a trusted individual who understands your values and desires is crucial. At Brickyard Healthcare, we provide guidance on choosing the right proxy and facilitate discussions that clarify the role and responsibilities involved.

The Purpose and Function of Healthcare Directives

Healthcare directives, such as living wills, allow individuals to document their wishes regarding medical treatment in various scenarios, particularly in end-of-life care. These documents speak for you when you cannot speak for yourself, providing clear instructions to healthcare providers and relieving family members from making these difficult decisions under stress. Our team at Brickyard helps patients and families draft these documents, ensuring that they reflect the person’s true intentions.

The Critical Nature of Living Wills in Medical Care

Living wills are a specific type of healthcare directive that focus on end-of-life care. They are vital for outlining the kinds of medical treatments you would or would not want to receive if you become incapacitated. Brickyard Healthcare can help you understand and complete a living will, ensuring it aligns with your healthcare goals and legal requirements.

Medical Power of Attorney as a Means of Healthcare Decision-Making

A medical power of attorney grants a designated agent the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, beyond the directives covered in a living will. This includes decisions about surgeries, medical tests, nursing care, and even home care. We emphasize the importance of selecting someone who is not only trustworthy but also capable of handling the responsibility under potentially stressful conditions.

National Healthcare Decisions Day: An Opportunity for Action

Held each year on April 16, National Healthcare Decisions Day is not only a day for awareness but also a catalyst for action. Established by Nathan Kottkamp and embraced by a wide range of organizations, NHDD provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to start the conversation about advance care planning.

Since its inception, NHDD has grown into a national series of events that occurs throughout April, involving healthcare systems, legal services, faith-based organizations, and more. The aim is to educate on and build awareness of the importance of healthcare decision-making as well as make advance care planning accessible to everyone.

Research shows that a significant portion of the population has not completed any form of advance care planning. This lack of preparation can lead to medical interventions that may not align with the individual’s preferences, potentially increasing stress and discomfort for both patients and their families during critical times. We are dedicated to changing this reality by promoting the importance of making healthcare decisions in advance.

How to Get Started with Your Healthcare Decisions
Step 1: Reflect on Your Values and Wishes

Consider what matters most to you in terms of healthcare. Think about your values, the treatments you would or would not want, and how these decisions align with your overall life goals.

Step 2: Document Your Wishes

Start to document your wishes formally. This might include filling out healthcare directives or drafting a living will.

Step 3: Choose a Healthcare Proxy

Select someone who understands your values and wishes and whom you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. Make sure to have a thorough discussion with this person about your expectations and the responsibilities involved.

Step 4: Communicate with Loved Ones and Healthcare Providers

It’s essential to discuss your plans with your family and your medical providers to ensure everyone understands your preferences. This communication should be ongoing as your wishes and conditions may change over time.

Step 5: Review and Update Regularly

As life changes, so might your healthcare wishes. Make it a routine to review your decisions annually, perhaps around NHDD, to ensure they still reflect your current desires and circumstances.

Connect With Us Today: Your Partner in Healthcare Decision-Making

As we observe National Healthcare Decisions Day, we encourage you to take the initiative to start these conversations and make your healthcare decisions known. Brickyard Healthcare is here to support you every step of the way. Whether you are just starting to think about advance care planning or are ready to update your existing plans, we have the expertise to help you manage your healthcare journey.

Visit our contact page to learn more about our services or to schedule time to speak with the team. Let’s work together to ensure that your healthcare decisions reflect your wishes and provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

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