top of page

7 Facts about Advance Directives

There's no time like now to document your preferences for medical care and end-of-life treatment in an Advance Directive.

Have you heard of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD)? It is a nationwide initiative that encourages adults of all ages to plan ahead of a health crisis. The planning often involves creating an Advance Directive.

National Healthcare Decisions Day happens every year on April 16th. There's no time like now to document your preferences for care in the event you're not able to make those decisions yourself. When we make health decisions ahead of time and put those wishes in writing, we bring peace of mind to our families. We enable our caregivers to advocate for us when we are unable to do so for ourselves. We are more likely to avoid the difficult situations that are so common when we become seriously ill and our loved ones are left to guess what we would have wanted.

Creating Your Advance Directive: You Don't Have to Do It Alone

If you keep putting things off, here are some facts to motivate you and some resources to help.

Let's start with this startling statistic:

80% of people say that if they were seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about end-of-life care. Yet only 7% report having done so. Source: Survey of Californians by California Healthcare Foundation (2012)

Even though it might seem morbid or uncomfortable, making healthcare decisions in advance is the best way to make death positive and meaningful for you and your loved ones. These seven facts about advance directives can help you understand their importance.

  1. Advance Directives allow you to control your medical care if you can’t speak for yourself.

  2. Advance Directives are free; no lawyer is needed.

  3. Everyone over 18 should have an Advance Directive, and it can be updated at any time.

  4. Advance Directives are a loving, responsible gift that eliminates a burden for your family.

  5. Your doctor is waiting for you to start the conversation.

  6. Creating an Advance Directive is a lot harder if you wait for serious illness.

  7. Planning for death does not make death happen.

The Conversation Project, co-founded by journalist Ellen Goodman, is an organization dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. The organization offers dozens of helpful resources for individuals, families, and professionals. One of their best is the Conversation Starter Kit, a useful tool to help you have the conversation with a family member, friend, or other loved one about your - or their - wishes regarding end-of-life care. The kit includes several extremely helpful booklets and it's available in several languages. Best of all, everything is available to download and print for free.

There's no time like now to communicate your wishes. What are you waiting for?

If your situation is complicated or you would like a little extra help, Kimbrough Law can assist. Just give us a call at 706.850.6910.

Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
bottom of page