Film Screening & Discussion
October 5, 2016
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT "BEING MORTAL"!
The Being Mortal campaign from the Hospice Foundation of America is designed to engage community members, including medical professionals, all across the country in conversations that educate and inspire audiences to take concrete steps toward their end-of-life care planning.
We are grateful for all of the support from the community and especially from our wonderful sponsors. We thank everyone who attended and hope to see you at our future advance care planning programs.
Hosted by Visiting Nurse Home Care & Hospice, Memorial Hospital/Maine Health and members of the Community Health Collaborative as part of their advance care planning committee’s campaign to bring Advance Care Planning education and assistance to the community.
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Although 80% of Americans believe it’s important to put end-of-life wishes in writing, less than 25% have done so. An even smaller percentage have spoken with their family about their wishes.
However, it’s not just a single “talk” with the family elders. It should be a continuing discussion with others about how we want to live each day until the end of our time. Sharing your wishes with family and providers lets them understand what you value. It’s a gift they can give you by respecting your choices.
Julie Lanoie, now director of hospice volunteer services at Visiting Nurse, Home Care and Hospice, took care of both of her grandparents who lived independently at home until they were 95. She made frequent trips from Vermont to their Florida home for three years before taking a leave from work to support and care for them during her grandmother’s – and later her grandfather’s – dying process.
“My grandmother had congestive heart failure and my grandfather developed dementia. They each wanted to die naturally at home and to avoid interventions that would interrupt that process. He moved in with me after her death and lived four more years, living a full life until age 98.
From the time I was young, I knew where to find their important information. I knew that they wanted to be cremated. I knew that they didn't want to be kept alive if they couldn't participate in the daily activities they enjoyed.
When my grandfather could no longer make decisions for himself, I knew what he would have wanted in terms of healthcare interventions because he had clearly told me throughout his life. Choosing comfort care in support of a natural death was in keeping with his values. Our family didn't have to question what he would have wanted us to do. We knew because he had told us ahead of time.
Most importantly, it wasn't one conversation or “talk”. It was an open sharing throughout their lives that created a climate within the family of knowing where they stood on these issues. I can't remember ever NOT knowing.”