National Health Care Decisions Day falls on April 16 and every year, it gets people thinking about a subject that’s sometimes considered taboo.
There may come a time in everyone's life when a person or a loved one is not able to communicate their health care wishes and it's a tough topic to talk—or even think—about.
Regina Hospital will host a free advance care planning class on Tuesday, May 5, which will help participants to complete a health care directive to let family and medical providers know a person’s goals and values for their future health care needs.
"80 percent of health care dollars are spent on 20 percent of the population. Much of that is spent in the last few months of a patient's life, when enormous sums can be spent prolonging a patient’s life by a few days or weeks," said Jim McGlade, interim president of Regina Hospital.
"But what does dying with dignity really look like? When you are around someone who is dying with dignity, it can be very peaceful. Parents could make it a lot easier on their children if they have this discussion, and a health care directive document, before it is ever needed. We need to start to have these end-of-life discussions long before it is end of life, and long before we are dealing with a terminal disease."
In La Crosse, Wis., thanks to one man’s mission, 96 percent of the people who die in the city have a health care directive. Last year, NPR ran a story on Bud Hammes, who single-handedly led the campaign to encourage nurses to talk with patients ahead of time to prepare a health care directive.
Call 612-262-2224 to reserve a spot in the 1-2:30 p.m. class at Regina Hospital (conference room A, lower level) on Tuesday, May 5.