National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is held on April 16 each year to educate healthcare providers and consumers about advance care planning and empower all to make their wishes for their care known. Advance care planning includes completing an advance directive – sometimes known as a living will – and appointing a healthcare power of attorney – someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to. Advance care planning also means sharing this information with your loved ones to ensure all wishes are honored.

NHPCO celebrates NHDD by emphasizing the importance of talking with your loved ones about your healthcare wishes and documenting those wishes by completing advance directives. While April 16 is as good a day as any to ensure your advance directives are up to date, NHPCO recognizes the importance of advance care planning all year long, and for individuals at all phases in their healthcare journey.

CaringInfo, a program of NHPCO, was created to help everyone make informed decisions about care and services before a crisis. In addition to more information about advance directives, CaringInfo offers free advance directives and instructions for all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington DC in both English and Spanish that can be downloaded as a PDF file.

New to CaringInfo is the CaringInfo blog, Insights, which will feature monthly posts in both English and Spanish on a variety of care-related topics. In honor of NHDD, Insights has launched with three posts on advance care planning and the forms completed throughout the process. Check them out now!

Making Your Healthcare Wishes and Medical Choices Known

Advance Directive vs. Living Will: Which Do You Need?

Types of Documents to Make Healthcare Wishes Known: Advance Directives, Living Wills, PoAs, DNRs, and POLSTs