Take control: Tips for Preparing to Interact with the Health Care System

Take control: Tips for Preparing to Interact with the Health Care System

Below is information from our community partner, Speak(easy), that you may find useful:


All of us are deeply concerned for the health and wellbeing of our loved ones and our community. In these stressful and uncertain times, it feels like there is so much that is out of our control. That’s why it’s important to lean in and take control of the things we still can.

Speak(easy) Howard has partnered with local health experts and community members to share six ways you can get prepared in the event you or your loved ones need to enter the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

See video messages from local leaders and community members about how to get prepared.

Here are some tips for what you can do:

  • Declare who should make your medical decisions if you can’t. A health care agent, or health care proxy, is the person you assign to make your medical decisions if you have an emergency and can’t speak for yourself.
  • Tell your health care agent what kind of care you’d want. We may not be able to predict every choice we’ll have to make, but we can give those we love the guiding principles to confidently make decisions for us.
  • Plan how you’ll stay connected to loved ones and your community. Connection is more important than ever. Howard County healthcare facilities are encouraging patients to stay connected with loved ones through video, phone calls and text.

Check out the rest of the tips and videos on the Speak(easy) Howard website.

We can help manage life’s unknowns by talking openly about what matters to us and what we’d want most if we or someone we love became seriously ill with coronavirus disease. Making an advance care plan is still the best tool we have to prepare for a health care emergency – and it will remain so even after the COVID-19 threat is behind us. Use these tips to help you and your loved ones get prepared.

Stay safe. Stay well. We will get through this together.

Speak(easy) Howard is a community initiative of the Horizon Foundation that helps residents think through their preferences for care, talk about them with loved ones, and name a health care agent, the person you choose to make medical decisions if you can’t. For more information, visit www.speakeasyhoward.org or email info@speakeasyhoward.org.


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