What you need to know about making key health care decisions

What you need to know about making key health care decisions

It can be hard to think about what you would want to happen should a health emergency arise and you become unable to speak for yourself.

National Healthcare Decisions Day is an opportunity to think about your wishes and preferences and put together an advance care plan.

Most importantly, it’s a time to have a conversation. This can be tough for some.

“We should ask, “What are your questions or uncertainties? Be open for the inevitable,” said Erickajoy Daniels, chief diversity equity and inclusion officer, Advocate Aurora Health.

Following her own planning conversation with an Advocate Aurora certified chaplain facilitator, Daniels noted the importance of recognizing diversity in where people are coming from when encouraging the conversation, conducting it, and following up after.

“There is greater value in the conversation when it is facilitated in a way that is sensitive to the individual’s way of receiving information,” she says. “The delivery of the questions themselves make a world of difference, especially in understanding what triggers and barriers to having the conversation might be.”

It’s important to think about who you want included to help facilitate the conversation and who else should join you. This can be with anyone you trust – family, friends, your pastor.

“While creating a plan does not mean it’s about to happen, planning is important for the family to know about one’s preferences and decisions,” she adds. “People create plans and don’t tell anyone. Including family in the process relieves them from making decisions alone especially when they don’t know their loved one’s wishes.”

During her conversation, she also appreciated the fact there are resources and tools available to help.

“Your mind goes somewhere during the conversation, that moment in time is insular,’’ she said. “The best way that relieves you of going through a challenging time by yourself is to have tools, resources and people to help you go through it.”

Learn more on how to make a plan.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson
Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He’s been with Advocate Aurora since 2000 serving in various internal and external communication roles. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for the Journal Times and Burlington Standard Press. He enjoys kayaking, biking, and camping but most of all, spending time with his family.