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Advance Directives-Celebrating National Healthcare Decisions Day

Gainesville, FL-Miller Elder Law Firm, along with other national, state and community organizations, are leading an effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making—an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). As a participating organization, Miller Elder. Law Firm is encouraging the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with Florida laws. These resources are available at millerelderlawfirm.com/forms or nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.

An advance directive allows others to know what the patient’s medical preferences are, including whom a patient has appointed as primary decision-maker when and if the patient is unable to communicate. National Healthcare Decisions Day was created to inspire people to start conversations with their loved ones about advance directives and their healthcare-related wishes before a crisis.

As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known. Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient, and healthcare providers and facilities will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.

“End of Life discussions are never easy but eventually all of us will be involved in them. How much better it is to have them before a crisis. Do it so your family will not be put in the emotionally difficult position of trying to anticipate your wishes. Do it so you will have the comfort of knowing that your decisions will be honored,” states Dr. Timothy Flynn, UF Health Chief Medical Officer.

We urge you to start these conversations with your family. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our aging and special needs adults. You may find advance directive forms at millerelderlawfirm.com/forms.