Hospice of Davidson County Promotes National Healthcare Decisions Day Throughout County

Lexington, NC, April 8, 2015 – Ensuring your future quality of life is an important and empowering process.  By establishing how you want to be cared for, should you need it, creates peace of mind.   Determining in advance what diagnostic or surgical procedures to undertake and what sort of life-extending treatments you might want helps you and your loved ones guide your healthcare experience.   Hospice of Davidson County in partnership with Novant Health: Thomasville Medical Center, is helping all citizens of Davidson County make their decisions known by participating in National Healthcare Decisions Day on Thursday, April 16th.  That day, Hospice and hospital staff will offer information and assist the public with completing advance directive forms.  These forms instruct doctors, other medical professionals, friends and relatives on the decisions you have made regarding your care.  The trained staff will walk you through the planning process, from selecting who speaks on your behalf, what procedures your medical team should and should not undertake, to where and how you want to receive your care.  A notary public will be on hand to certify and finalize any paperwork, should you desire.

The event will take place in the lobby of Thomasville Medical Center from 11am until 1pm and 4pm until 5:30pm.  There is no cost for the service and pre-registration is not needed.

“Being sure you are treated and cared for in the way you want is the key element in all advance healthcare planning,” noted Laura Owen, CEO of Hospice of Davidson County. “Thinking about those choices ahead of time and then putting them in a document, unburdens you, your family and your healthcare providers during what can be stressful times.” 

Other goals of National Healthcare Decisions Day are to raise awareness about the benefits of advance healthcare planning and educating individuals on how to start a conversation about care planning with friends and loved ones.  “While April 16th is designated National Healthcare Decisions Day, really, those choices can be made any day of the year,” encourages Owen.  “You just have to say, ‘I want my voice heard and my decisions known’ by completing a form and then letting others know.”

Lynne and Ron Leonard of Reeds have seen both sides of this healthcare situation in their family.  Lynne’s father became ill a number of years ago when healthcare directives were rarely discussed.  As a result, Lynne’s mom, Elizabeth Hendrix, and the family were left making difficult choices for her father’s care.  Afterwards, Elizabeth gathered her family to talk about how she wanted to be cared for and what her wishes would be should she need someone to speak on her behalf in the future.  Elizabeth took the additional step of having her choices put into a legal document.  “Mom’s smart planning saved our family so much heartache,” says Lynne, “since she was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”  The healthcare directives along with that family face-to-face conversation allowed Lynne and her siblings to ensure their Mom received the kind of treatment she wanted for more than 10 years.  As a result, both Lynne and Ron have prepared healthcare directives with the help of Hospice of Davidson County.  Lynne notes, “It is our way of making our future care easier for our children and family, giving them some peace of mind knowing that Mom or Dad are being treated as they want to be.”

National Healthcare Decisions Day began in 2008 with the mission to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.  The NHDD organization offers a centralized, online location for public resources including documents, case studies and information about organizations that expand the campaign for better education about advance care directives.

Hospice of Davidson County, celebrating its 30th year of compassionate care to the community, is one of hundreds of participants in National Healthcare Decisions Day throughout the country.  Their position in the area’s healthcare community provides them with opportunities to educate and support the citizens of Davidson County on a host of healthcare topics including elder care, caregiving support, grief and bereavement support, and illness management.


About Hospice of Davidson County

Hospice of Davidson County will celebrate its 30th anniversary year in 2015, and much has changed over the last three decades. In 2009, Hospice of Davidson County moved to its existing location off of US Highway 64 East in Lexington, NC and opened the county's only inpatient hospice program at The Henry Etta & Bruce Hinkle Hospice House. Today, the agency cares for more than 100 patients every day in a variety of locations, including private homes, in long-term care and skilled-nursing facilities and at the Hinkle Hospice House. For more information, visit their website, HospiceOfDavidson.org

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