April 16 is National Health Care Decisions Day

To the editor,

Advance directives... and eggs?

In the event you become unable to make your own healthcare decisions, who will do it for you? Will that individual make informed decisions? Do they—and your health care provider—know what’s important to you? Have you put anything in writing?

April 16 is National Health Care Decisions Day. I encourage adults of all ages to complete an advance directive.

In Michigan, this means deciding who you want to make your health care decisions for you if you can’t do it for yourself. That person needs to accept the responsibility by signing a form, and, ideally, have a conversation with you about your wishes and values.

It can feel daunting to know where to begin the process of completing an advance directive.

Wings of Hope can help. Eight of our staff have received special training to facilitate these kinds of discussions and help in the completion of an advance directive. The document we use is from Making Choices Michigan which is also a great resource for learning more about advance directives.

There is no charge for this service from Wings of Hope. It is confidential, and we can meet you at a location of your choice.

Discussing and deciding what’s important to you does not have to be a gloomy conversation. It can be interesting and stimulating. To encourage these conversations, Wings of Hope has hidden 50 plastic eggs in Allegan, Saugatuck, Douglas, Plainwell and Otsego with conversation-starters in each egg along with a $1 bill. If you find an egg, keep the dollar and talk with someone close to you.

Advance directive forms are available at the Wings of Hope office and online at Making Choices Michigan.

If you have this conversation—and document it!—before there is an emergency, it’s much easier for everybody.

Theresa Lynn, PhD, RN, LMSW<br>Executive Director, Wings of Hope<br>Director, Wings Home

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