Neptune Society of Northern California’s Oakland office will participate in National Healthcare Decisions Day at Oakland City Hall’s Conversation Village at Frank Ogawa Plaza from 10 am to 3pm on Thursday, April 16. The free event is open to the general public and will provide an opportunity to learn about end-of-life healthcare options, and to communicate and document healthcare wishes, as well as to consider other end-of-life issues such as funeral preplanning.

Faviola Rodas, Service Manager of Neptune Society’s Oakland office, stated, “National Healthcare Decisions Day at Conversation Village provides an opportunity for consumers to educate themselves, and to have conversations about healthcare planning with their families and loved ones before there is a need. It provides information and tools to ensure their wishes are clearly understood and ready to be enacted when they are no longer able to make healthcare or end-of-life decisions.”

The event is hosted by Alameda County HCSA, Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association, Alameda County Hospice Providers Coalition, City of Oakland, East Bay Conversation Project, and Getting the Most Out of Life.

National Healthcare Decisions Day is an annual event that empowers individuals and healthcare providers to learn more about the importance of advanced directives and other healthcare and end-of-life advance planning such as hospice and palliative care, funeral preplanning, spiritual concerns, and dealing with grief.

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive, or living will, allows an individual to document their wishes concerning medical treatments at the end of life. Advance directives are not just for the elderly or infirm. An individual need not be a patient to consider end-of-life healthcare, nor do they need to be near the end of life to pre-plan their funeral arrangements.

Advance healthcare planning allows you to exercise control about what will happen with regards to your care at the end-of-life. It allows you to spare your family from having to make difficult healthcare choices after you are no longer able to make medical decisions.

With living wills and advanced directives, people may appoint a medical proxy to make treatment decisions if they are incapacitated and unable to do so themselves. They may also give specific instructions and preferences for medical treatment in particular cases.

For instance, a terminally ill patient might give directions not to be given nutrition or breathing assistance via a mechanical respirator if they lapse into a coma prior to death. An advance directive may also include do-not-resuscitate orders, which direct medical staff not to attempt to restart their hearts if they stop.

How do I create an advance directive?

The requirements for advance directives vary by state. Forms for California will be available at the National Healthcare Decisions Day event in Oakland. The forms for California and all 50 states are also available for download at here.

Why should I consider pre-planning my funeral on National Healthcare Decisions Day?

After the end of life, funeral pre-planning spares your family from having to plan and pay for a funeral while they are grieving for you, or to try to guess your wishes. It allows them to focus on remembering and honoring your life, without having to make difficult decisions about your funeral and memorial.

For more information about Neptune Society of Northern California’s involvement in National Healthcare Decisions Day, or for more information about funeral pre-planning, please contact us by filling out this form or calling (510) 451-0887.

Published | Category: Neptune Society of Northern California Articles.