There are so many things to look forward to when you are Growing Bolder. After all, we say that what your mind believes, your body can achieve, and whether that’s getting into (or back into!) your favorite activity through Masters Sports, traveling the world and doing everything on your bucket list or just sticking close to home and pursuing your passions, every day is an opportunity to make the rest of your life the best of your life.
But focusing on the positives does not mean you can ignore the more challenging facts of life, and here’s a big one. At some point, we will all face our own mortality. And it will happen whether we’re ready or not.
That’s why we’re teaming up with our partners at The Conversation Project to spread the word about National Healthcare Decisions Day (April 16) and a week’s worth of special events and information to help make it easier to discuss and create a healthcare plan.
The 2017 theme is “It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late,” and that’s exactly what we spoke about with Ellen Goodman, the Co-Founder and Director of The Conversation Project. It’s a lesson she learned in her personal life, and it inspires her to help others have these crucial dicussions now:
What does the conversation need to look like? That’s up to you, and if it’s a series of discussions rather than one, that’s fine as well!
But perhaps one of the most important steps is to select a health care proxy — the person to whom you will share your end-of-life wishes and healthcare preferences.
A health care proxy — also known as a health care agent or Power of Attorney for Health Care — can speak with doctors on your behalf, consult your medical records and make choices about your treatment if you’re too sick to make those decisions on your own.
Your proxy is the person who will speak for you if you’re unable to speak for yourself.
To make it easy, The Conversation Project has a number of Starter Kits that are free to download, including a new Health Care Proxy Kit. In it, you’ll be given a series of steps and prompts to not only select your proxy, but make sure he or she is up to the job, like:
- Will the person have a hard time making decisions on your behalf because their emotional connection to you would get in the way?
- Will the person be okay with asking questions of doctors and other busy providers?
- Am I choosing this person because he or she is the right proxy or because I feel obligated to pick a spouse or family member?
Can you have these converstions any day of the year? Of course! But it’s easy to put off. Here’s more information about how to start — we think it may compel you to make this year’s National Healthcare Decisions Day your time to reach out.
If you have questions, need more resources or just want to spread the word, you can learn much more at nhdd.org and even take the pledge to join the movement!