Step 1 Decide – expanded

Sharing your values and letting others know your preferences for future care is important, especially if you cannot speak for yourself. Talk with the important people in your life about what matters to you.

Decide who you want to have those all-important conversations with and who you would like to speak for you if you can’t make your own healthcare decisions. This might be a spouse, an adult child, a co-worker or a close friend. It’s anyone you can trust to speak for you. You should choose an alternate person as well.

There are many terms for this designated person: health care proxy, health care agent, medical power of attorney or power of attorney for healthcare.

More about Healthcare Agents (click on the +)

Responsibilities of a Healthcare Agent

A healthcare agent, also known as a healthcare proxy, plays an important role in the life of others. It takes a special person to be a healthcare agent. You must have a number of positive attributes

You must be able to make tough, quick decisions on behalf of the person who designated you to be their agent. This can include decisions about medical treatment, procedures and life support.

You must be willing stand up for the person who designated you to be a their agent. You must not be afraid to ask doctors questions or interrupt busy providers to ask for clarification to things you may not understand.

It is an honor to be selected to someone’s healthcare agent. You must be able to put aside your own preferences and wishes and respect the individual’s wishes, even if they are different from yours. Sometimes family members or close friends cannot serve as healthcare agents because they may be so emotionally close to you and may have a difficult time making objective decisions on our behalf.

Healthcare agents must be willing to have important ongoing conversations about Advance Care Planning with the individual who designated them before a medical crisis occurs. These conversations also build a strong foundation for making future healthcare decisions.

Your Health Care Agents will:

  • Know you well and care about what is important to you
  • Listen to you and be respectful of your values
  • Guide you but not impose their own personal preferences
  • Advocate for you and represent what you want
  • Interact with your doctor and other providers to better understand your health condition and status
  • Make tough, quick decisions on your behalf — including decisions about treatment options, procedures, and even life support
  • Be comfortable with managing and resolving family conflicts

Click on any step

Step #1 Decide in Kokua Mau's Wellness Program
Step #2 Determine in Kokua Mau's Wellness Program
Step #3 Document in Kokua Mau's Wellness Program
Step #4 Discuss in Kokua Mau's Wellness Program

Contact your Worksite Wellness Coordinator for the printed version of the Worksite Wellness Challenge Form for Step #1. Remember to discuss Step #1 with your family and friends then share your signed Step #1 form with your co-worker or friend.