April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day


April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day

On April 15, Americans will file their taxes. April 16, following Benjamin Franklin’s saying, “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” is a day for health care decision planning. Each year, National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is observed the day after tax day. NHDD is a day of education and awareness, aimed at encouraging adults to create an advance health care plan.

Every adult is at risk of being unable to make health care decisions. An advance health care directive is the document that helps an adult name someone to make health care decisions when the person cannot do so. In addition to creating planning documents, this is a good time to think and talk about the different kinds of health care and treatment one wants and does not want. Meaningful conversations about health care values generally lead to higher quality health care decisions and reduce family stress when a health care crisis arises.

Aging and legal service providers are urged to create community events for NHDD. Ideas for community events can be found on the website for National Healthcare Decisions Day.

The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging provides free resources on health care decision making laws and advance health care planning.

The following resources were recently updated:

NCLER provides free case consultation assistance for attorneys and professionals seeking more information to help older adults. Topics include: Advance Planning, Elder Abuse, Guardianship, Health/LTSS, Economic Security, Supported Decision-Making, Consumer Protection, and Housing. Please contact ConsultNCLER@acl.hhs.gov for assistance.

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Case consultation assistance is available for attorneys and professionals seeking more information to help older adults. Contact NCLER at ConsultNCLER@acl.hhs.gov.

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