Monday, May 1, 2017

Making Well Informed Decisions

The New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law Section is sponsoring National Healthcare Decision Making Day 2017. What is National Healthcare Decision Making Day? It is a volunteer, public-service project which will involve attorneys speaking on topics relevant to older New Yorkers, their family members and caregivers. The National Healthcare Decision Making Day initiative is a collaborative effort of national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring that all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions. Despite recent gains in public awareness of the need for advance care planning, studies indicate that most Americans have not exercised their right to make decisions about their healthcare in the event that they cannot speak for themselves. The National Healthcare Decision Making Day will help people understand that making future decisions includes much more than deciding what care they would or would not want; it starts with expressing preferences, clarifying values, identifying care preferences and selecting an agent to express healthcare decisions if patients are unable to speak for themselves. According to a recent research study: 71% of Americans have thought about end-of-life treatment preferences, 95% have heard of a living will, but only 29% have a living will. The public is invited to attend a free session of National Healthcare Decision Making Day 2017, which is being held locally on May 9, 2017 at 10:00am, at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport. A local attorney from Patricia George Law Office will be the speaker. The program will include a question and answer session, and a “legal checklist” with an overview of legal documents every New Yorker should be aware of. Topics will include: Health Care Proxies Powers of Attorney Wills DNR Organ Donations Probate What are healthcare proxies and powers of attorney? How do they differ? How can these documents help avoid problems regarding guardianship, DNR orders and organ donation requests? Why do I need a will? What insurance, pension and financial documents should I have? What must be done to complete and maintain these documents? It is important for everyone to understand the importance of having these documents in order, it doesn’t matter what your age is. When people are unprepared, it can be emotionally devastating, financially costly, and an obstacle for people to take care of everyday dealings. The program is free of charge, will last approximately one hour and the community is welcome. For more information or to register for the session, please call 433-1886. Side Bar Box: WHAT: National Healthcare Decision Making Day WHY: Volunteer, public-service project WHEN: May 9, 2017 TIME: 10:00 am WHERE: The Dale Association 33 Ontario Street, Lockport Free and open to the public Please call 433-1886 to register

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