Got plans? Think and talk about end-of-life care

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 12, 2015

By Christine Brown

Special to the Salisbury Post

It’s been said that in life there are only two things that are certain: death and taxes. Everyone recognizes that April 15 is the deadline for completing your taxes. Not many people know that the following day, April 16, has been designated National Health Care Decisions Day. In support of this national effort, Gov. Pat McCrory has issued a proclamation designating April 16 Health Care Decisions Day for North Carolina.

We plan for college, marriage, a baby and retirement, but we don’t prepare for the end of life. If fact, less than 30 percent of all adults have their healthcare wishes documented. In this region, we invite you to participate in changing this trend.

With an aim of reaching healthcare consumers well before a healthcare crisis, several regional healthcare leaders have united to create awareness, provide education and encourage important conversations about your healthcare wishes. This coalition is called the Community Partnership for Compassionate Care.

We recently launched a campaign called Got Plans? to encourage all citizens over the age of 18 to think about who they would want to speak for them if they ever lost the ability to make and communicate their own healthcare decisions. We have created tools to guide conversations about these issues and make it easy for folks to document their wishes through advance directives.   The steering committee of the Community Partnership for Compassionate Care includes representatives from Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care, Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health.

This year, the coalition is spotlighting the importance of discussing, deciding and documenting your healthcare wishes. We are encouraging conversations so that your healthcare providers and those you love can know and honor your wishes if you ever lose the ability to speak for yourself. We are united in ongoing regional efforts to provide you with advance healthcare planning tools so that making your plans is as simple as 1,2,3.

Over 55 public and private workshops are planned in April and early May – all of which can be found on our website, under the workshops tab.

The greatest gift you can give to a loved one is sharing your wishes about future healthcare and documenting those wishes well in advance of a healthcare crisis. Register today for one of our free workshops and let us know if you would like to host a workshop.

Christine Brown is vice president of business development for Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care and wrote this on behalf of the steering committee for the Community Partnership for Compassionate Care.