Archbold Hosts Health Talk on Advance Directives

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Archbold Hosts Health Talk on Advance Directives

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Many of us spend a good portion of our lives planning different events such as vacations, holidays and other family events. But we spend very little time and effort planning what should happen if we ever lose the ability to make decisions for ourselves.

Statistics show that more than one in four older adults face questions about medical treatment near the end of life, and are unfortunately incapable of making those decisions for themselves.

“Making end-of-life decisions is hard but it’s important that our loved ones know what our wishes are if we ever lose the ability to communicate,” said Archbold hospital medicine physician Mahsheed Khajavi, MD. “Advance planning, also commonly referred to as advance directives, gives you an opportunity to express your wishes to your loved ones.”

Advance directives are defined as a legal document that allows you to document your wishes concerning medical treatments at the end of life.  Some examples of those decisions include your personal preference on CPR (resuscitation), ventilator use, artificial nutrition or artificial hydration and comfort care.  Through an advance directive, you are able to indicate the types of care you do and don’t want, if you become sick or terminally ill.

“When faced with losing a loved one, it’s already a very stressful and emotional time for families. Having to make decisions regarding end-of-life can complicate things even more for family members,” said Dr. Khajavi. “You should think of advance planning as a gift to your family. I’ve seen firsthand how families have been appreciative to their loved ones for having advance directives in place.”

Because no one is able to predict the future, it’s important to make these decisions early on, even if you don’t have any medical issues now. Injuries can happen no matter how old you are, so it’s also important for young adults to consider having an advance directive.

“There’s a misconception that advanced care planning is just for older people,” said Dr. Khajavi.  “A medical crisis could happen at any age so advance planning is an important step toward making sure you get the medical care you want.”

As part of Archbold’s continuing Health Talk free community lecture series, Dr. Khajavi will present “Planning for the Future, Advance Directives and other Important Healthcare Decisions,” on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 6pm. Details of advance directives and the importance of making healthcare decisions will be discussed.  The talk is being offered free as a clinical outreach effort to uphold Archbold’s core value of community benefit.  Dr. Khajavi is board certified in internal medicine and is the Director of Hospitalists for Southland MD.

The lecture begins at 6pm and will be held in Williams Auditorium in the East Tower of Archbold Memorial Hospital.  Dinner will be served.  Pre-registration is required; call 229-584-5520 or visit www.archbold.org.