In recognition of National Healthcare Decisions Day, Prince William Health System will host two public forums on Monday, April 15, to discuss advance care planning, including advance directives. Nationally, only three in 10 adults have taken the time to create an advance directive; however, 60 percent of individuals state they do not want to burden their families with end-of-life decisions.
There are two main types of advance directives:
- Healthcare power of attorney, where you choose the person you want to make healthcare decisions for you when you cannot speak for yourself;
- A living will that expresses your wishes about end of life care.
In 2012 The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) started the Advanced Directives Registry, an electronic database where healthcare providers can access the Directives at any time, with the patient’s permission. This avoids family’s having to look for papers when their loved ones are receiving medical care.
Guest speaker Kim Barnes with the VDH will discuss the importance of advance care planning and how to use the VDH online advance directives registry, which is free of cost for users. The Advance Health Care Directive Registry ensures that loved ones, as well as doctors, know a person’s wishes and whom they want making medical decisions for them, she said.
Also speaking at the events will be Manassas City Councilman Ian Lovejoy and family medicine physician Scott Ross, MD, of Bull Run Family Practice.
The morning program (breakfast provided) will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. at Prince William Hospital in Manassas, 8650 Sudley Road, 4th floor conference room A. The program is free, but registration is required: 703-369-WELL (9355).
The evening program (refreshments provided) will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Caton Merchant House Assisted Living Facility at 9201 Portner Avenue in Manassas. The program is free and registration is not required.