Healthcare Decisions Day

There’s an effort nationwide and locally today to make something that many of us find scary a little less intimidating.

It’s the planning process for end-of-life care.

Today is National Healthcare Decisions Day.

An elder law firm and several area hospice and home health groups got together at the Landmark Inn in Marquette.

They were there to guide about 40 people through the journey.

They say 40% of us will eventually take that journey without being able to say for ourselves how it should go.

Attorney Robert Anderson of Anderson Associates says everyone should have a living will, as well as a medical power of attorney to specify who should be your patient advocate.

That way, you’ll know that it’s your own decisions that will be respected and followed rather than a hospital’s.

It’s crucial to let other people know what your end-of-life wishes are — who you’d like to have with you at that crucial time and what medical treatments you would, and wouldn’t, want.

Sharon Fries of Upper Peninsula Home Health, Hospice & Private Duty says she has an aunt who right now only has a few days left to live.

She says her aunt went through end-of-life planning steps about 5 years ago.

Planning out those decisions through specific documentation can make the process easier on everyone.

And they say it’s never too early to start because you don’t know when those decisions might be needed.