April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about creating advance directives and talking about health care wishes (this process is also known as “advance care planning”).
Yes, April 16 is in 5 days. But there are things you can do that are not time-consuming! You can still do well by doing good. In other words, you’ll raise awareness about this important activity and raise community awareness about your firm.
Here is a short list of ideas, ranked with the least time-consuming first. In many of these, you can use the NHDD logo and the 2016 NHDD Theme: “It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late.
- Tweet about NHDD (@NHDD/#NHDD). Who can’t do 140 characters?
- Share a message on Facebook. www.facebook.com/nationalhealthcaredecisionsday
- Donate to NHDD (tax-deductible).
- Send your staff an email reminding them to create an advance directive if they haven’t. Put blank advance directive forms on your conference table.
- Mention NHDD at a staff meeting this week. Encourage staff to encourage each other to complete an advance directive.
- Talk to your own HCPOA about your wishes.
- If you are someone else’s HCPOA, talk to them about their wishes. Ask if anything’s changed.
- Send an email to clients and prospects. Encourage them to talk to their loves ones about their wishes, using NHDD as a conversation starter. Link them to The Conversation Project for additional help having this discussion.
- In the above client email, offer free or reduced-fee advance directives to clients’ family or other referrals.
- Put an NHDD exhibit table at the front door of your office and offer information about advance directives or advance care planning as people come by. Get the NHDD logo here.
- Publish an Op-Ed or article about the importance of advance directives / advance care planning in your local newspaper.
If you think of other easy-to-implement ideas, please share them with me and I’ll pass them along for next year.
Randi J. Siegel, MBA, is the President of DocuBank (docubank.com), which ensures that the emergency information and healthcare directives of its 200,000+ enrollees are available 24/7/365 through the largest advance directives registry in the U.S., as well as access to an online safe for storage of digital assets and other vital documents. Working with estate planning professionals since 1997, Randi frequently speaks at national estate planning conferences and has appeared on radio and television as an authority on registries. A member of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council, the International Society of Advance Care Planning and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, Randi is active in health education and public engagement related to advance care planning/advance directives. She serves as Pennsylvania liaison to the National Healthcare Decisions Day initiative and as a board member of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly. Randi is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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