April 16 is National Health Care Decisions Day
Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis. – Each year in mid-April families are encouraged to have the often-difficult conversation with loved ones about health care decision-making. Putting your wishes in writing is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you remain in control of health care decisions, yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says 70% of Americans do not have an advance care plan.
“Decisions around advance directives, living wills and naming a health care power of attorney are so important,” said Eric Butters, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals spiritual care manager. “Decisions made now can help ensure you get the medical care you want and ease the burden on your family. Loved ones won’t have to guess about what you prefer or second-guess if they made appropriate decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself.”
National Healthcare Decisions Day was founded in 2008 to encourage families to discuss health care decision-making sooner, rather than later. The day reminds families to make end-of-life health care decisions known.
“Many conversations may start with your family and lead to a discussion with your doctor,” says Butters. “Those beginning steps will ensure your wishes and those of your loved ones are expressed and respected, as well as followed.”
Some topics to discuss are:
- Naming a power of attorney for health care
- How you want to be cared for (quality of life)
- Religious practices or limitations
- Who can access to your medical records
For more information about advance directives, living wills and frequently asked questions, visit the CDC’s Advanced Care Planning webpage.
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.