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Planning advance health care directives

Advance directives help health providers guide medical decisions if a patient is incapacited...
Advance directives help health providers guide medical decisions if a patient is incapacited and cannot make their own decisions.(WAFB)
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Friday marks National Health Care Decisions Day and it’s a time to think about making those important decisions for you or a loved one before it’s too late.

It’s a situation any of us could be in someday when we can’t speak for ourselves regarding our health care needs.

“I could talk to my mom, who’s five hours away, and say ‘mom if you ever had to be on a ventilator how would you feel about that?’ and then hear what’s important to her. And then if the time ever comes when she needs to be on a ventilator, I can speak up and be her voice when she can’t talk,” said Avera Social Worker Michele Snyders.

“it’s important to providers so they can understand what your wishes are in case you would ever have that point where you not able to speak for yourself. It takes the guesswork out of what they might have to do as a provider and helps them make sure that they are honoring the qualify of life that you want to have for yourself at that point,” said Avera Senior Care Officer Josh Hofmeyer.

And it’s important to appoint just one proxy to relay those wishes.

“Appointing somebody that you trust. It has to be somebody who’s going to have the where with all to say it doesn’t matter I think what you should do, I’m going to be here to support what you want to do. When you have more than one proxy you can have conflict. So it’s best to find one person who can be that voice for you and then always have a backup, so if that person is out of the country or they have since passed away, then who else is going to be your backup person,” said Snyders.

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and it’s never too early to get those advance directives and end of life planning done.

“Age does not matter. I think a lot of times people think well I need to wait until I’m old and potentially unhealthy to do something like this. and that should not be a consideration. You can get this done at any point in your life. Actually the sooner the better,” said Hofmeyer.

It’s also important to put those healthcare decisions in writing This can ease the stress during a tough time for families.

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