Tomorrow is National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. This is a time to decide and inform your loved ones about your end of life wishes before difficult decisions have to be made.

On Thursday, April 16, 2015 Pastoral Services at Duke Regional Hospital will host an Advance Care Planning Table from 11:30 am-2 pm, at the entrance of the Hospital’s Cafeteria for visitors to learn about advance directives and register as an eye, organ and tissue donor.

Take the time to consider these important decisions, discuss them with your loved ones and let us help you complete the documents. It will give you peace of mind that your decisions are known and will be honored.

Don’t know how to start the conversation? Visit begintheconversation.org to learn tips on how to talk with your loved ones about advance directives: Visit our website to learn about the different types of advance directives and where you can fill out forms online.

Call Duke Regional’s Chaplain’s office at 919-470-5363 if you have questions.

Advance Directives

DSC_0012You have the right to make decisions about your own medical treatment. These decisions become more difficult if, due to illness or a change in mental condition, you are unable to tell your physician and loved ones what kind of healthcare treatments you want. That is why it is important for you to make your wishes known in advance.

What are Advance Directives?
A living will, healthcare proxy and durable power of attorney are the legal documents that allow you to give direction to medical personnel, family and friends concerning your future care when you cannot speak for yourself. You do not need a lawyer to complete advance directives. Here is a brief description of each kind of directive:

Living Will
A living will is a set of instructions documenting your wishes about life-sustaining medical care. It is used if you become terminally ill, incapacitated or unable to communicate or make decisions. A living will protects your rights to accept or refuse medical care and removes the burden of making decisions from your family, friends and medical professionals.

Healthcare Power of Attorney
A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a person (agent) you appoint to make your medical decisions if you are unable to do so. Choose someone you know well and trust to represent your preferences. Be sure to discuss this with the person before naming him or her as your agent. Remember that an agent may have to use his or her judgment in the event of a medical decision for which your wishes aren’t known.

For more information, visit dukeregional.org/plan.

Advance Care Planning and Organ Donation

On Monday, April 14, 2014, Pastoral Services at Duke Regional Hospital will host an Advance Care Planning Table at the entrance of the Hospital’s Cafeteria for visitors and staff to learn about the importance of Advance Care planning, and making those important decisions about your health care before difficult decisions have to be made.

Advance Directives such as Living Wills and Health Care Power of Attorney forms will be available to complete if desired. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to register as an organ donor.

Take the time to consider these important decisions, discuss them with your loved ones and let us help you complete the documents. It will give you peace of mind that your decisions are known and will be honored.

Call the Chaplain’s office at 919470-5363 if you have questions.

Health highlights from around the Web

If you’re looking for interesting sites or articles for perusal this weekend, take a look at our picks below. Then visit Durham Regional Hospital on Facebook and share your picks with us.

WebMD Allergy Map: Are you sneezing or dealing with watery eyes? Allergy season is here! Check out WebMD for a map that tracks allergy symptoms. Enter your zip code, and the tool shows the severity of allergy symptoms in that area.

Ways to beat stress: Exercise is a great stress-busting activity. Everyday Health suggests walking, yoga and tai chi among other tips for getting active and reducing stress.

Advances in hip replacement surgery: The New York Times and News & Observer recently ran articles about anterior hip replacement. Read our blog post to hear how Durham Regional doctors use this approach to hip replacement.

Planning end-of-life care: It may be uncomfortable to discuss end-of-life care with loved ones or your doctor, but it’s an important step that can help ensure you receive the care you want. As you learn about advance directives (the legal documents that explain your healthcare wishes), consider organ and tissue donation. April is National Donate Life Month—an opportunity to learn more about the gift of life organ and tissue transplants can provide.

Advance directives: Make your wishes known

Do your loved ones know what kind of medical care you would want if you were unable to express your wishes? If you are age 18 or older and mentally competent, you have the right to make decisions about your medical care. Advance directives are legal documents that record those decisions.

In general, advance directives describe the treatment you would want if you became seriously ill or injured and were unable to communicate with your healthcare team. There are several examples of advance directives, including

  • A living will, which describes how you feel about breathing machines or feeding tubes
  • Health care power of attorney, which allows you to name a person who can make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to do so
  • Advance instruction for mental health treatment

Patient with loved one and doctorIt’s important to talk with your loved ones and your doctor about your wishes. The conversations may be uncomfortable, but they will help ensure you receive the care you want.

On April 16 from 11 am-1 pm, Durham Regional’s Pastoral Care Services will host an information table to help the community learn more about these important forms and fill them out on the spot.

To learn more about advance directives and get started, visit durhamregional.org/plan.