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National Healthcare Decisions Day Slated For April 16
April 11, 2014

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox Are you prepared for National Healthcare Decisions Day? It's coming up April 16.

Employees with Hospice of Huntington have set up several free sessions at places such as Cabell Huntington Hospital to raise awareness about National Healthcare Decisions Day this month.

"It's an opportunity to encourage people to think about, talk about, an advanced directive, a medical power of attorney, a living will," said Kelly Levy, vice president of family services for Hospice of Huntington.

It's a chance to make important health care decisions now, so your loved ones will know what you want if for some reason you weren't able to tell them.

"The documents are really important to do, and to execute, but more important are the conversations that you have with your families. Perhaps, for example, I want to remain home as long as possible as long as I can. You know, I do want this kind of treatment, I don't want this kind of treatment," Levy said.

Levy said there are a couple different forms available.

"A living will is a document that you can complete where you just write down the things that you would and would not want done, and it's only in a specific situation -- when you are not able to tell the doctor what you would and would not want done, and if you're at, technically, clinically, at the end of your life," she said.

Levy said in West Virginia your doctor gets to decide who makes decisions if you have not designated someone.

Glennia Daniels works at the Westmoreland Senior Center. She filled out the forms years ago, but her mom and husband who were part of her legal decisions, have since passed. She used one of the informational sessions as a chance to update her information.

"I have a son, and of course, family members don't want to hear about it, so I just redid it and put my daughters on it," she said.

She said her son said he wouldn't feel comfortable making decisions for her.

"There's a lot of children like that," she said.

That is why experts say it's important talk to your family, friends, and health care providers about options.

Daniels said "it gives me peace of mind, knowing that it's done, and won't be so hard on them."

If you would like another opportunity to get information about advance directives, a group of Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine students will be hosting an educational event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, April 14, in the atrium of the Erma Ora Byrd Clinical Center, 249 15th St. in Huntington.

You also can find out more information here.

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