RMH representatives available April 16 to help answer questions
During National Advance Care Planning Week, April 15-21, RMH encourages
all adults to talk about and create an advance care plan to ensure their
wishes are known if they become unable to make decisions regarding
their own health care.
“Making health care decisions for
ourselves is difficult even in the best circumstances; making a decision
for someone else is even more complicated,” said Natalie Rinaca, RMH
patient relations coordinator. “It’s important to provide a guide that
our loved ones and health care providers can follow in the event that we
cannot speak for ourselves. Advance care plans give you the power to
document what you do and do not want, and to name someone to speak for
you if you are unable.”
RMH representatives will be in the
hospital’s main concourse to provide forms, answer questions and help
visitors begin developing an advance care plan. Rinaca said resources
can be used to talk with family, close friends and health care
providers. “We want to provide much-needed information to the public and
reduce the number of difficult family conversations that often occur
when a person’s wishes are unknown,” Rinaca said.
Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990, Congress affirmed the right of
every citizen to decide his or her future health care wishes in writing.
Estimates suggest just a quarter of Americans have done so, Rinaca
“Advance care planning differs from the traditional
advance directive conversations because it places more emphasis on
looking at your values and your personal definition of quality of life,”
Rinaca said. “It focuses on sharing those beliefs with persons closest
She added that an advance care plan is easy to create, no lawyer is needed and it’s free.
For a free booklet, and the state-approved advance care planning form, call RMH Healthsource at 540-564-7200.