Take a chair, we know this is a heavy issue.
It’s time we collectively work to change things. There’s no excuse for all adults not being able to have their end of life wishes known, documented and followed.
As we all know, the Internet is a fantastic place that’s given us freedom to express ourselves in wonderful and sometimes crazy ways – now it’s time we harness that power to give ourselves and the folks we love a voice when it’s needed the most: during a crisis.
Advance directives can spare your family from the guilt and agony of making your end of life decisions and can help protect you from being victimized.
Families with a plan cope better.
Relevant statistics and information:
- Less than 25% of the U.S. population have advance directive documents filed.
- 92% of California physicians fail to discuss end-of-life options with patients. [link]
- Roughly 75 million boomers are approaching old age.
- About 1/4 of Medicare’s nearly $500 billion annual budget is spent on patients in the last six months of life, according to the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.
- There is a need to improve the value of health care spending because Medicare and Medicaid costs account for nearly 1/4 of the federal budget.
- As one of the fastest growing specialties, palliative care in hospitals has increased 138 percent in the past decade, according to a Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) report. [link]
- Hard decisions fall on relatives who don’t know what an incapacitated loved one wants. A study in the March 1, 2011, Annals of Internal Medicine found that one in three surrogate decision-makers carries lasting emotional duress from decisions they made on behalf of someone else.
- A review of POLST forms for 870 living and deceased patients found that orders about resuscitation were honored 98% of the time, and orders to limit medical interventions were honored 91.1% of the time. [link]
To see a list of fantastic associations and organizations also tackling this issue, click here.