Experts: Advance healthcare directives crucial at any age

Apr 15, 2022, 7:42 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 1:25 pm

CEDAR CITY, Utah — For many, the pandemic brought home the importance of planning for the unexpected. People of all ages faced serious illness that sometimes required end-of-life decisions about healthcare.

For Hannah Blackmon, who lives in Cedar City, every breath is precious. She had a serious bout with COVID-19 last September.

“I barely remember being at the hospital,” Blackmon said. “I was like, struggling to breathe, really, really horribly.”

At 36, she had never prepared an advance healthcare directive.

“It was definitely a wake-up call,” she said.

But after being intubated and flown to Intermountain Medical Center, she faced a new reality.

“I was in complete shock when I heard all this stuff. I didn’t realize it was that bad.”

According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, more than 90% of us think it’s important talk about end-of-life care with loved ones, yet less than 30% have done so.

“That’s incredibly important,” said Dr. Dominic Moore, medical director for Palliative Care, Intermountain Healthcare.

Moore said an advance directive makes sure your voice is heard, in case you can’t speak for yourself.

It’s also an act of kindness for loved ones who would be left guessing without it.

“That’s a very heavy weight,” he said. “It’s something that no one wants to get wrong. And the stakes are often very high.”

Moore recommends first, discuss your wishes with loved ones. Decide what’s important to you and document it.

It’s as simple as filling out this form available online through the state.

“It’s always too early until it’s too late,” Moore said.

Update your advance directive if you get a serious diagnosis, your health is declining, you get a divorce, or if your designated healthcare agent dies.

It’s advice Blackmon recommends as she slowly recovers.

“My family almost lost me,” she said. “You can’t predict what’s going to happen, but you just want to be ready.”

Finding peace knowing that come what may, they’re prepared.

For more information about advance directives, visit Intermountain Healthcare’s website or National Healthcare Decisions Day for state-specific requirements.

KSL 5 TV Live

Your Life Your Health

Walking is one way to exercise and manage stress....

Emma Benson

Get moving: How to manage stress with exercise 

If not managed well, stress can cause serious health problems. So, how can you exercise to manage stress?

1 day ago

Rebecca Page has worked hard to get her children on a regular sleep routine....

Ken Fall and Emma Benson

How to keep your kids on a regular sleep routine to reduce stress

Experts emphasize that sleep is therapy, both physically and emotionally, which is why it's important to keep you and your kids on a regular sleep routine.

1 day ago


Emma Benson

Finding relief for seasonal allergies

For many people – about 1 in 4 adults – spring allergies are inevitable. Dr. Glen Porter, an allergist with Intermountain Health, said you don't have to be miserable.

8 days ago

Tina Gomez was 27 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis....

Emma Benson

‘It’s different every day’: Understanding multiple sclerosis and its prevalence in Utah

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, a chance to talk about this neurological condition which affects more than 30,000 Utahns.

15 days ago


Emma Benson

National Nutrition Month: How to talk about body image with your kids

March is National Nutrition Month, a campaign designed to promote informed eating choices and positive body image.

21 days ago

Brady Dransfield (right) poses with his father, Scott Dransfield shortly after transplant surgery. ...

Emma Benson

‘Listen to your body’: Transplant survivor shares story for World Kidney Day

A kidney transplant survivor is warning others about kidney disease, including on World Kidney Day.

29 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Experts: Advance healthcare directives crucial at any age