Throughout your life, you have to make health decisions for yourself and your family. These decisions are important because they influence not only your well-being, but the quality and cost of your care. So what can you do to ensure your decisions are wise ones? Here, you'll find checklists and interactive tools that will guide you through key health decisions, combining current medical information with your personal information to help you make the best decisions for you.
Good health is our most valuable asset. And each of us is ultimately responsible for the health care decisions we make—or don't make—every day. That's why it's so important to take a proactive approach. In this section, you'll find four simple checklists that will help you create an effective action plan when health problems occur.
If you've ever cared for a chronically ill or disabled spouse, parent, or other family member, you know how rewarding it can be—and how demanding. In this section, you'll learn why taking care of yourself is your most important step as a caregiver (and tips for doing so); how to help the person you're caring for to feel as independent as possible; and how to ask for help. Finally, you'll find links to other organizations that support caregivers with education and services.
An advance directive is a document that tells your family and your doctor the kinds of medical care you want if you're badly hurt or have a serious illness that keeps you from speaking for yourself. There are two main types of advance directives: a living will and a medical power of attorney. Here, we'll explain both types and the steps for writing an advance directive. This section also includes interactive Decision Points tools to help you make difficult end-of-life care choices, as well as links to other organizations with information and resources for writing an advance directive.