Some day you may be sitting in your favorite café waiting for your latte, or maybe you’ll be lounging on the beach and have reached a point in the unfolding story of your summer thriller, where you suddenly think, “maybe I should update my advance health care directive.”
My hope is that neither of these scenarios happens but you still might like to download the American Bar Association’s “My Health Care Wishes” app to plan ahead because according to everyone, it seems we’re going mobile faster than we can reproduce.
For all you folks concerned about putting your personal information “out there, rest assured. According to the ABA, “Your information is protected because the data resides only on your smartphone, not on any server or cloud service.” So as long as you don’t leave your phone sitting around unprotected by a password no one should ever inadvertently find out what you wish to happen in an emergency where you are unable to speak for yourself.
That said, in this ever increasing age of virtual existence it’s certainly not a bad idea to be able to email or even text an advance directive document to your family, doctors and hospitals, but I don’t think the growth in technology is going to change the fact that less than 30% of Americans “talk with their loved ones about end-of-life care,” according to the ABA.
Yes, planning ahead is smart but the bigger issue is getting people sitting down face to face. An app is nothing more than the tool to document what we want and as the folks over at The Conversation Project remind us, “It’s time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it’s time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don’t want for ourselves,”
Before you put your wishes only a click away, take a minute to find out how and why to get the conversation started at the “virtual kitchen table,” with The Conversation Project’s Co-founder and Director, Ellen Goodman: