From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Today is a good day to tell your loved ones how you want to be cared for in a crisis

July 8, 2022
DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

I recently sat down and thought hard about something I didn’t really want to think about – how I would want to be cared for if I were too sick or injured to speak for myself. It’s difficult to think about that. But it would be even more difficult if I were incapacitated.

The Idaho Healthcare Directive Registry was transferred from the Secretary of State to the Department of Health and Welfare. The secure, cloud-based system allows you to upload your existing directive, create a new directive, and/or share your advance directive for free.  The Department of Health and Welfare’s Advance Directives and Registry Services has several free and available resources to help you create your own advance directive.

For those who may not know, an advance directive is a written plan that helps your loved ones and healthcare providers make decisions about your care when you can’t. The advance directive gives them directions about the care you want or don’t want. This worksheet may help you think through your advance directive decisions.

An advance directive can be revoked at any time and a new one can be created at any time. It must be signed by you, but it does not need to be notarized or signed by a medical provider.

The Idaho Advance Directive includes two parts:

  • Idaho Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, a legal document that allows you to name a person who will speak on your behalf if you are not able.
  • Living will, which allows you to make choices about life-sustaining medical treatments you do or don’t want during a medical crisis or at the end of your life.

Take the time to think through what you would want in a crisis or end-of-life situation, and talk about it with people close to you who would be making those critical decisions for you. Writing down what you want will help you and your loved ones feel more prepared if you can’t speak for yourself.

I feel secure in the knowledge that my wishes will be followed if I am unable to speak for myself. The peace of mind is worth the discomfort of having that conversation with your loved ones.

You can learn more about the Advance Directives and Registry Services on the DHW website.

I hope you have a safe and healthy weekend!                 

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.