This National Healthcare Decisions Day, Make Your Wishes Known

During these unprecedented and difficult times, our normal way of life has been put on hold and a number of things are out of our control. Yet, there is one thing we can control: Our end-of-life healthcare wishes.

In light of National Healthcare Decisions Day on Thursday, April 16, EveryStep urges healthcare providers, facilities and families to take the often difficult first step in talking to patients and their loved ones about healthcare wishes – and putting those preferences in writing using advance directive documents.

What if a serious illness or injury left a patient incapacitated and unable to answer questions about their healthcare wishes? Would they want a treatment plan to include any measures to keep them alive, or only under certain circumstances? The answers to these questions are fully within the patient's control, and EveryStep is here to help. 

It’s important for families to have these discussions, however difficult. While our minds may be elsewhere during the COVID-19 pandemic, EveryStep advises providers and families to start the conversation about healthcare preferences today.

Making these wishes known and documented in an advance directive will ensure they receive the care they desire, even if they are unable to communicate them at a later date.

EveryStep works with patients, families, caregivers, and other healthcare providers to ensure that future healthcare wishes are honored. Whether patients want to remain active and independent, or spend time alone with their families, these decisions can affect the types of choices they make regarding their healthcare wishes.

When put into writing, those healthcare wishes can become advance directives – documents that provide guidance and instructions for those entrusted with a loved one’s care.

Advance directives are legal documents that allow people to give directions for their medical care, should they become unable to speak for themselves.

EveryStep is pleased to provide information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and complete written advance directives in accordance with Iowa state laws.  These free resources are available on our website.