Death and Taxes
“…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” This quote by Benjamin Franklin has stood the test of time. Every year we know that the time clock to April 15th is ticking and every year we gather the documents necessary to file our taxes. But what about our death paperwork? Do you review you advance directives every year?
National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is April 16th, the day after Tax Day. According to the Conversation Project, this day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. If you have completed your documents, then take them out on NHDD and review your choices. Do you still want the same thing you chose when you first filled them out? Are the people you listed as your decision makers the same people you would choose today? What about their contact information; is it the same as it was then?
If you haven’t completed your documents…what are you waiting for? After this last year of Covid, I saw reasons to complete a living will every single day. Most of the families were caught off guard. Many decisions and discussions that were never considered before Covid are likely on your mind this year. Think of your family and who would make decisions for you? Who would you pick? Who would be the person that you could count on to speak for you and honor what you want? It might not be a family member; it might be a friend.
And for providers that don’t routinely review this topic with your patients, now is the time to start! Most people don’t know where to begin or why advance directives are important and really need expert guidance to present choices or refer them to resources in the community.
If you are curious, if you are ready, or maybe you are simply afraid to talk about it, then reach out to me. Let’s start a conversation and use this year and this National Healthcare Decisions Day 2021 as the day you finally get around to it! And for those that have already completed theirs, remember to review your wishes and encourage others in your family to complete theirs. We are given choices; we do have a say in how we want to be treated and what we want for our bodies at a time when we can’t speak for ourselves…why give that right to anyone else?
“Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin