National Healthcare Decisions Day

Contact: Erin Berge, Regional Marketing Director
Volunteers of America, Western CO/AZ/NV
Cell: (970) 275-1220 | Email: eberge@voa.org

National Healthcare Decisions Day Provides Opportunity to Plan Ahead for Care

DELTA, Colo. April 5, 2017 – In observance of National Healthcare Decisions Day, Volunteers of America announces a free informational program on creating your Five Wishes, on Friday, April XX at Heaven’s View Apartments, 1445 Porter Court, Delta.

National Healthcare Decisions Day is observed annually on April 16th and is aimed at increasing the number of Americans who have completed an advance directive (“living will”), in which they name the person who will make medical decisions for them in the event they are seriously ill and can’t speak for themselves. Experts say only about 20-30% of Americans have completed an advance directive even though all people age 18 and older should have one.

“It’s understandable that people would put off discussing the topic of serious illness and death, but it’s essential to have this family conversation in advance,” Tom Smith, LCSW and Regional Palliative and End-of-Life Care Coordinator of Volunteers of America said. “It’s a discussion that should take place in the living room, not in the hospital waiting room when it may be too late.”

The program will be featuring Aging with Dignity’s Five Wishes, America’s most popular living will. The 12-page document is easy to use and deals with personal, family and spiritual matters in addition to medical and legal concerns. Five Wishes is also a valuable tool for beginning often difficult family discussions. It meets the legal requirements of 42 states and is useful in those states that still require state forms and mandatory notices. Five Wishes is available in 28 languages in order to address the diverse cultural needs of the community.

“We are all going to die,” Smith said. “We all deserve to be able to make choices and have our wishes honored as we leave this earth. Using the Five Wishes allows individuals to clearly state what kind of treatment they want or don’t want so their families aren’t left to guess or second-guess.”

The public is invited to attend the one-hour presentation on Friday April XXth. Materials and refreshments are provided free of charge.

Founded in 1996, Aging with Dignity is a national non-profit organization that seeks to protect the God-given human dignity of the most vulnerable among us. Five Wishes was created with help from national legal experts, with initial development and distribution funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

To download the press release, click here.