April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day — Stressing the importance for each of us to articulate our medical wishes (in case we can’t speak for ourselves later) and to share our goals with those who matter.
There’s so much public interest in and need for NHDD that it has morphed into an entire week. Taking user-friendliness to heart, the NHDD movement has created a schedule of “themes” to guide organizations through the week. I’ve adapted these themes specifically for estate planning and elder law firms. I hope you find them useful.
Themes for estate planning and elder law attorneys for NHDD Week 2018
Monday (4/16): NHDD/Prepare
The actual NHDD day. Use it as your day to plan and get resources together!
Tuesday (4/17): Start with Yourself
A day to think about your own healthcare decisions and update your advance directive if needed.
Wednesday (4/18): Family/Friends/Loved Ones
A day to discuss your wishes with others (and learn theirs).
Call your parents, adult children, loved ones. Start by telling them what you want. Use NHDD as the explicit reason for your call. Then ask them what they want. Create or update their advance directive.
Thursday (4/19): Spread the Word to Clients
A day to tell clients that you’ve engaged in advance care planning and encourage them to do the same: review their advance directive, contact you for updates if needed, and talk with family about their wishes. For the latter, direct them to the conversation project starter kit.
Friday (4/20): Spread the Word to Prospects
NHDD week: a great reason to contact prospects. Invite them to create their advance directives now (and credit this fee toward their estate plan); make it a gentle reminder of the need to do their estate plan now; or use NHDD in some other substantive way to be in touch with prospects. Employ the NHDD message: “It always seems too early, until it’s too late.” Use the compelling videos on the bottom of the NHDD home page.
Saturday (4/21): Closure/Follow-up
A day to complete what you couldn’t finish on Tuesday – Friday.
Sunday (4/22): Reflection and Readiness
Consider what worked well for NHDD week and what you might want to do next year with more planning. File or share your advance care plans so they will be available if needed. (Easier said than done. More on this next time!)
I hope you have a productive NHDD week. Please let me know what worked (and didn’t) for you.
Randi J. Siegel, MBA, is the President of DocuBank® (docubank.com), which ensures that the emergency information and healthcare directives of its 250,000+ 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.
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