Hospice joins in National Healthcare Decisions Week

Staff report

MIAMI COUNTY — National Healthcare Decisions Week is being observed April 16-22 with a goal of reminding all people, regardless of age or current health status, of the importance of making their personal healthcare decisions known. Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County is joining the effort to encourage members of our community to participate in important discussions about end-of-life care.

Every day at Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County the organization help families come to terms with the unimaginable loss of a loved one, according to Vicky Forrest, media content editor. Family members are torn as they consider what is right, what is best, how to best honor the life of their loved one, she said. There may be differences of opinion that can fracture families forever. This does not need to happen, Forrest said.

“By sharing information with loved ones and your doctor about what you would want when you are facing life-limiting circumstances, you are not only helping yourself, you are also alleviating family members of guilt, stress, fear and potential long-lasting conflict,” Forrest said.  

An American Journal of Public Health study finds that 60 percent of those 18 and older want their end-of-life wishes to be respected. But according to a National Institute of Health study only 26.3 percent of U.S. adults have completed an Advance Directive. Why not more? Most had thought about it but not completed the forms. The primary reasons offered were that they did not know about the forms, were concerned about cost or complexity.

In reality, it is simple, easy and free of cost to take the steps to assure your healthcare decisions are honored.

• Talk with your loved ones about your preferences for healthcare planning.

• Visit www.DecideToBeHeard.org to locate resources about the topic

• Forms can also be found online at www.hospiceofmiamicounty.org

Show your love for your family by taking the necessary steps to establish your wishes during National Healthcare Decisions Week. They will be forever grateful to you for it, Forrest said.