Haven encourages making wishes known

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If a serious accident or illness should happen, is there someone you trust who can make healthcare decisions for you? What are your wishes? Who should know? 

In recognition of National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16, Haven Hospice encourages Floridians to make their wishes known and “name the person who will speak for you when you can no longer speak for yourself.”  Haven Hospice is offering complimentary copies of the advance planning tool, Five Wishes® in both English and Spanish through their website: www.havenhospice.org. 

Haven Hospice along with other national, state, and community organizations are raising awareness of the importance of advance healthcare decision-making. This includes completing an advance directive (also known as a living will) and appointing a healthcare power of attorney (someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself). However, equally important are the conversations with family and loved ones about healthcare preferences and choices.

“When I have tried to have this conversation in the past with my parents, it has not gone well,” said Vice President of Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. (JCCI) and Haven Hospice Community Action Board (CAB) Member Laura Lane. “I need to start with me and talk to my partner about what I want and then after that, bring it up with my parents.”  

When asked, most of us would answer that we would prefer to die in our homes, free of pain and surrounded by family and loved ones -- Haven Hospice works to make this happen.  But too often, the discussion about what to do when curative therapies and treatments are no longer feasible is often delayed. Timely access to the right care plan is important – to maximize the quality of life, not to hasten deterioration. At Haven, we believe that hospice is about living. 

“National Healthcare Decisions Day is an important day of awareness and education, focused on encouraging everyone, including those who are healthy and in the prime of their life, to think about and document the care they would want before they were faced with a healthcare crisis,” said National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) President/CEO J. Donald Schumacher.

Advance directives allow you to document your end-of-life wishes in the event that you are terminally ill or critically injured and unable to talk or communicate. Help ensure your loved ones and healthcare providers know how to honor your care decisions by filling out these important documents today.