April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day or a great day to have conversations with your loved ones about how you want to live if you're experiencing serious illness or nearing the end of life. We know that these conversations don't happen often enough, which can leave patients and families with great uncertainty and stress at a point when they want to focus on quality time with each other. Patients without a plan are also more likely to experience the default "do everything" approach of modern medicine. This can mean receiving treatments that cause more pain and shorten life, rather than receiving care that provides more meaningful time with the people they love.
VNAA will be conducting several outreach activities over the next several weeks to help support individuals and families in starting these talks, including:
- Hosting a Death Café in our offices on April 16
- Sharing our own personal experiences about end-of-life planning via the VNAA blog
- Posting resources and encouraging discussion on Twitter at #HavetheTalk
We welcome your contributions to the discussion. If VNAA can assist you with your own outreach and education efforts around National Healthcare Decisions Day, please contact Molly Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.