We plan for exciting milestones and celebrate life’s moments, big and small. Yet it’s easy to sidestep planning for our healthcare wishes. National Healthcare Decisions Day, recognized each year on April 16, is a reminder to pause and reflect on our preferences. It encourages individuals to document their wishes regarding healthcare, and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

Throughout my career as a hospice nurse and executive leader, it has been my privilege to walk the journey alongside many patients and their families. I’ve seen first-hand the clarity that comes from having one’s healthcare wishes known and documented. Conversely, I’ve seen the chaos and heartbreak when wishes are unknown and undocumented.

Truthfully, not having a plan is, in itself, a decision—a choice that leaves us and our loved ones unprepared in moments when clarity and guidance are most helpful. These conversations can be a bit daunting, I’ll admit, yet facing our decisions head-on can bring a sense of peace not just to us, but to those we hold dear.

At HopeWest, we’ve crafted an easy-to-use Advance Directive tool available on our website (HopeWestCO.org/Advance-Directives), helping you to make your healthcare desires known clearly and confidently.

Who we are, what we believe, and what we value are important when making decisions about medical treatment. When we put those wishes in writing ahead of time, we enable our caregivers to advocate for us when we are unable to do so for ourselves.

by Cassie Mitchell,
HopeWest President & CEO