April 16th is National Health Healthcare Decisions Day, when health care providers focus on encouraging us to plan for a healthcare crisis in which we might not be able to speak for ourselves. The observance runs throughout the week. It encourages people to prepare an “Advance Directive,”which would name someone to act on your behalf if you’re incapacitated, and make sure your wishes are carried out.
Covenant HealthCare Advance Care Planning Specialist Tracy Bargeron says you can have an attorney draw one up, or work with a hospital, such as Covenant. Your primary care physician should have a copy of your Advance Directive, as well as the hospital you would use and the person you’ve chosen to be your Patient Advocate. She says you should designate an alternate person as well, in case the first person you’ve chosen is unavailable.
Bargeron says it’s also a good idea to review your Advance Directive periodically, especially after major life events. The Covenant HealthCare website has more information: https://www.covenanthealthcare.com/ch/advancecareplanning