(Publisher’s note: I am so sorry, I wrote two church stories yesterday and managed to combine the two names in this story.The information has now been corrected.)
Arbor Hospice is teaming up with St. Paul United Church of Christ on Tuesday, April 16 to offer advice about the difficult discussions surrounding end-of-life decisions.
In observance of the 6th Annual National Healthcare Decision Day, the non-profit and church will present “It’s How We Care for Each Other,” which will provide insight into working with the medical and legal systems and include valuable tips to avoid common end-of-life dilemmas, according to information about the event.
The free event includes experts in medicine and law and the clergy.
The event takes place at St. Paul from 7-8 p.m., and registration begins at 6:30 p.m.
The church is located at 14600 Old US-12.
According to information from Arbor Hospice, “While 82 percent of Americans say it’s important to put their end-of-life wishes in writing, only 23 percent have actually done so.
The presentation is a way to empower people to express their healthcare wishes, and is a great occasion for adults of all ages to share their advance care preferences with family and friends, according to the information.
Arbor Hospice suggests a number of online resources to help individuals and families discuss and document their advance care wishes.
- Five Wishes: Aging with Dignity provides the Five Wishes advance directive in a simple booklet form available in print or online. This guide is accessible via the Arbor Hospice website at www.arborhospice.org.
- Online Registries: The U.S. Living Will Registry (www.uslivingwillregistry.org) stores advance directives and organ donor information, and offers labels for driver’s licenses and insurance cards to notify medical personnel that the information is in the registry. The Peace of Mind Registry was introduced in Michigan in June 2012, and will be the first statewide database in the country. Michigan residents will be able to upload or mail signed advance directives and organ donor documents to the registry free of charge once it is established.
- Health Information Exchanges (HIE): HIEs promote accessible health information by storing advance directives in virtual health records. The Great Lakes Health Information Exchange (www.glhie.org) serves the University of Michigan Health System. Michigan Health Connect (www.michiganhealthconnect.org) is the largest HIE in Michigan, and serves many health care providers in Southeast Michigan.
- Conversation Starters: Families can also look online for tips and important topics to help foster discussion on advance care planning. Prepare (www.prepareforyourcare.org) provides assistance in an easy-to-understand format with large font and informational videos. The Conversation Project (www.theconversationproject.org) offers an interactive platform and the option to engage in conversation through social media.
Taking the time to research, discuss and document preferences for end-of-life care with friends, family and healthcare providers now will make the process easier and less stressful at the end-of-life, according to the information. This process ensures that your wishes are expressed and carried out in a way that suits you if you are unable to express them yourself.