We expect our personal dignity to be respected and honored at every stage of life. This is especially true regarding our personal health care needs and choices. As long as we are able, we control the choices for medical treatment and the plan of care related to any illness or injury we face. For those times we are unable to make decisions, we can complete an Advance Directive.
Every adult should protect their personal dignity in the event of a tragic accident or terminal illness. We can do this by naming someone to make health care choices when we are unable to speak for ourselves. The person you appoint is referred to as an Agent. Studies show that half of all people who die are incapable of making health care decisions at the end stage of life. This fact alone makes it important that every adult over 18 take the time to thoughtfully complete an Advance Directive.
• HMW provides a Health Care Power of Attorney & Directive (HCPAD) as an Advance Directive in the sheet protector at the end of this section that you may choose to use, or you may insert your own. You may find it appropriate to put any needed documents directly into the guidebook instead of the sheet protectors. Instructions on completing an Advance Directive follow, as well as a helpful tool for determining who might make a good Agent for you.
• The tool Creating An Addendum and the sample advance directive addendums that follow may help you create an optional personal addendum for your Advance Directive. A personal addendum of this nature helps to provide guidance to your Health Care Agent and relieve loved ones of anxiety related to making difficult health care decisions for you.
• Regular review of your health care status and updating important information will provide timely information for your Agent. As your health status changes, make certain the Advance Directive and addendum continue to reflect your personal values and goals for your care.
Most of us find it difficult to think about or talk with family and friends about end-of-life issues. While it is true that these conversations are easier to deal with while we are healthy and before a need arises, every adult at any age should have them. The Honor My Wishes program is outstanding. My husband and I took it and found it to be thought-provoking and enormously helpful. We found the guidebook to be very useful as we collected important information. Feedback from people who also took the classes was equally positive. All of the information was very helpful. I liked the impet
Linda Henry, Puyallup, WA