It’s Never Too Early to Complete an Advance Directive

Posted June 17, 2019 at 5:45 am by

Peace­Health offers free advance care plan­ning workshops

When it comes to advance care plan­ning, sta­tis­tics show that there is a big dif­fer­ence between “talk­ing” and “doing.”

Accord­ing to the Insti­tute for Health­care Improve­ment, a recent study sug­gest­ed that while 82 per­cent of peo­ple sur­veyed believe that putting their end-of-life care wish­es in writ­ing is a good idea, only 27 per­cent have com­plet­ed that task.

“Advance care plan­ning is about shar­ing per­son­al goals, val­ues, reli­gious and cul­tur­al beliefs, and what mat­ters indi­vid­u­al­ly for qual­i­ty of life with fam­i­ly, friends and med­ical providers,” said Hilary Walk­er, pro­gram coor­di­na­tor for Peace­Health Advance Care Plan­ning. “It’s also about com­plet­ing an advance direc­tive. Both will help to ensure your wish­es are fol­lowed, in the event of a med­ical crisis.”

Peace­Health is offer­ing  a free com­mu­ni­ty work­shops that walk par­tic­i­pants through the ele­ments of advance care planning.

  • Fri­day Har­bor, Wash­ing­ton: June 26, 6 to 8 p.m., at the Mullis Com­mu­ni­ty Senior Cen­ter, 589 Nash Street. Reg­is­tra­tion is required to attend. For more infor­ma­tion, call Hilary Walk­er, advance care plan­ning coor­di­na­tor, at 360–752-5267.

Peace­Health provider Avneet Rat­tan, MD, recent­ly enrolled in one of the work­shops for her­self and for her patients. In one evening, she was able to com­plete her advance direc­tive, and have it nota­rized. She is now more pre­pared to have end-of-life care dis­cus­sions with her patients and their families.

“It is impor­tant to me that I am able to talk to my patients about advance care plan­ning and explain that there is no min­i­mum age to start­ing the ACP process,” she said. “We nev­er know when we will need an advance directive.”

Karen Haggen, a Peace­Health foun­da­tion and hos­pice lega­cy advi­sor, also par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Peace­Health work­shop.  Haggen talks to donors dai­ly about plan­ning and shar­ing their wish­es in advance. But when it came to plan­ning for her own end-of-life care, she hadn’t updat­ed her advance direc­tive since her chil­dren were young. She real­ized it was time to revis­it those doc­u­ments and have con­ver­sa­tions now that her kids are adults.

At the work­shop Haggen received step-by-step guid­ance, and experts were on hand to answer ques­tions. She describes the process as quick and easy.

“It was real­ly sim­ple,” she said. “Six of us left the class with the advance care direc­tive nota­rized and ready to drop in the mail. It felt so good to get that done.”

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About Peace­Health: Based in Van­cou­ver, Wash., Peace­Health is a not-for-prof­it Catholic health sys­tem offer­ing care to com­mu­ni­ties in Wash­ing­ton, Ore­gon and Alas­ka. In 1890, the Sis­ters of St. Joseph of Peace found­ed what has become Peace­Health. Peace­Health Peace Island Med­ical Cen­ter, a 10-bed Crit­i­cal Access Hos­pi­tal in Fri­day Har­bor, serves com­mu­ni­ties in the San Juan Islands. Key ser­vices include gen­er­al and ortho­pe­dic surgery, oncol­o­gy, behav­ioral health and pri­ma­ry care. Vis­it us online at peacehealth.org.

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Categories: Health & Wellness

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