Plan Your Care, Complete Your Directive – Planning for Important Healthcare Decision

Jefferson Healthcare will host two seminars, January 26 & March 23, 2019, 1pm-3pm, on end of life planning and Advanced Directives.  Educating the community about the benefits of advanced care planning is part of the Jefferson Healthcare Strategic Plan.  When family, doctors and hospitals know a patient’s wishes beforehand, they can ensure the best possible care as well as relieve debilitating emotional and financial stresses for families.  An Advanced Directive is a legal document which outlines decisions regarding personal medical care when an individual’s capacity is diminished and they are unable to decide for themselves.

Attendees to one of the two planned free seminars will receive an Advanced Directive document and instructions on how to complete the legal document.  Volunteers from End of Life, Washington will conduct the two-hour seminars, be available to answer questions for attendees and notarize the final document.  End of life issues may not be pleasant to think about but by preparing and taking the necessary steps will ensure informed choices.  Attendees are asked to call 360.385.2200 ext. 5333 to reserve a seat as well as complete a Values Worksheet (which can be downloaded from the Jefferson Healthcare website, search Values Worksheet) to prepare for the seminar.

Too many Americans spend the last days of their lives in a way they would never choose.  Silence on end-of-life preferences is a contributing factor. For example, in a survey conducted by the California Health Foundation, 60 percent of people in that state said that making sure their family is not burdened by tough end-of-life decisions is “extremely important.” Yet, more than half of those surveyed had not communicated their wishes to anyone.

“Any person who has lost someone close to them understands how difficult it can be to make end-of-life decisions when their wishes are not known.  Having these conversations is one of the most important gifts that families can give”, says Brandie Manuel, Chief Patient Safety and Quality Officer at Jefferson Healthcare.

Jefferson Healthcare administration became interested in furthering the education of the community when they learned about the community of LaCrosse, Wisconsin a town where everybody talks about death.  It all began in the early 90’s with a humble medical ethicist at the Gundersen Healthcare Network, Bud Hammes.  He envisioned creating an end of life care plan for patients who could still make conscious decisions about their end-of-life wishes.  At that time only about 2% of the residents had an advance directive.  Within 2 years that figure jumped to 45% and by 1995, 85% of the people who died in LaCrosse had an Advance Directive, and by 2009 that number had reached 96% – more than three times the national average.

Complete the Values Worksheet prior to the class.

Dirksen Conference Room, Jefferson Healthcare, 834 Sheridan Street

January 26, 2019, 1 pm-3 pm

March 23, 2019, 1 pm-3 pm

RSVP 360.385.2200 ext 5333

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