…When they are healthy and well?
For many years the healthcare system has made it possible for people to engage in their medical decision-making process when a medical crisis or unanticipated diagnosis happens. This approach is reactive to a crisis and creates hardships for many during a very difficult time. The most important aspect of Advance Care Planning is picking someone to be your medical power of attorney; someone who will make medical decisions with your doctor about your medical care and treatments if you are not able to participate in this process during a health crisis.
Research shows that less than 30% of adults have engaged in this aspect of their healthcare, and yet, studies show further that 93% of adults would like to have these conversations with their doctors. I believe this research is biased based on which adults were asked this question! This studies do not indicate who and how old (or young) the adults were when asked about their Advance Care Planning.
What this means for us today is that more adults under the age of 60 than older and are not given information or support in participating in their healthcare choices. This needs to change. Every adult, 18 and older, are able to prepare for healthcare services. One of the best ways to partner with your doctor is to have ongoing conversations about what is meaningful in your life today that matters to and how this relates to your health and well-being.
Don’t Wait to Communicate! Talk to your doctor, family, friends about who you are today and what matters in your life while living healthy and well.