January 10, 2015

How are those resolutions going?

Okay, it's ten days into the New Year and we haven't been quite as successful as we had hoped--but we're trying, right? I'd like to suggest that you add health care advance directives to that list of resolutions. No, wait, hear me out.

If you have advance directives (your instructions for health care and the appointment of a proxy), big congratulations to you! You are among 26% of adult Americans who think it's a good idea to prepare themselves and their loved ones. If you don't, have I got a deal for you.

I thought I'd just do a little updating and refreshing of my 2006 book, Last things first, just in case . . .  Well, that's turned into a huge kerfuffle. The good news is, I've discovered lots of new research about the effectiveness of advance directives and how we can improve the way we communicate with our doctors and each other about health care decision making. But I swear to you, this project will be public-worthy by the end of February.

It's entitled the 2015 Edition of the practical guide to Health Care Advance Directives and it will tell you everything you need to know about making contingency plans for a critical care situation--in four simple steps.

I'll have lots more to say in a few weeks. In the meantime, visit www.agingwithdignity.org, the most user-friendly advance directive form I know of, Five Wishes.

And Happy New Year!