April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. If you do not already have your end-of-life planning done, now is the perfect opportunity. Every adult, and especially seniors, should have their wishes for the end of their life set in writing.
What is the conversation?
The conversation to have on April 16th (or any time), is about your wishes at the end of your life. You should have this conversation with the people in your life who are going to be responsible for making decisions on your behalf at the end of life. This way, if something happens and you are unable to express your wishes, your family or friends who need to make these decisions are able to do so knowing that it is what you would want.
The Conversation Project has many tools for starting this conversation with those close to you. It may be scary to think about at first, but it is really important to ensure that your wishes are known and respected.
How can I express my healthcare wishes?
In California, the document expressing healthcare wishes is called an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD). In the AHCD, you can say, for example, whether you want all possible life-saving medical interventions or not. You can also say whether you want to donate organs, and if so, which ones. The document also allows you assign an individual who you trust to make advocate for you and make decisions on your behalf in accordance with your wishes. Make sure that the person you choose is trustworthy and willing to be your advocate.
How can I get an Advance Healthcare Directive?
You can choose to fill out an Advance Healthcare Directive form yourself, or do it as part of estate planning. If you are a senior (60+) living in Contra Costa County, come to one of CCSLS’s AHCD clinics in Concord or Pleasant Hill!
Pleasant Hill Senior Center
2019 Dates: July 9, Oct. 15
Concord Senior Center
2019 dates: Apr. 11, June 13, Aug. 8, Oct. 10, Dec. 12
For an appointment at our office in Concord, call (925) 609-7900. For an individual in a residential care facility, check out our Resident Empowerment Program.