7 Facts about Advance Directives

National Healthcare Decisions happened last week, but that doesn't mean it's too late to document your preferences for care in the event you're not able to make those decisions yourself. Here are some facts to motivate you and some resources to help.

Here's one sobering fact to consider:

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 7 facts about advance directives can help you understand their importance.

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

  2. They’re free; no lawyer is needed.

  3. Everyone over 18 should have them; you can update them at any time.

  4. They are a loving, responsible gift that takes a burden off your family.

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

  6. It’s 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. They offer dozens of helpful resources for individuals, families, and professionals.

One of their best resources 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.

View all the Starter Kits

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.

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