Making your own choices and letting both your family and your medical providers know your choices, is a huge gift to others and a way to taking charge of your own lift during these uncertain times. What better time than the present?
Here are resources to help you clarify your wishes around medical care and treatment, including the realities of advanced medical interventions, advance care planning workshops, and communication resources for health care workers.
Advance Care Planning Workshops
Completing your advance directive is an important step in expressing your wishes should you be unable to speak for yourself concerning medical care. Here are a few organizations offering workshops and assistance in completing your advance directive.
At the following link to the PeaceHealth website, you will find classes, both pre-recorded and “live,” as well as FAQs, links for the most commonly used documents and information on dementia, COVID addendums and more: www.peacehealth.org/advance-care-planning Peacehealth offers free monthly online classes as well. Click here to learn more.
For more information on how to talk to your loved ones, how to choose a healthcare agent and more, visit “The Conversation Project.”
Northwest Regional Council
Northwest Regional Council serves seniors and people who need long-term care in Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties. They coordinate advanced care planning presentations in the community and have staff available to do small group, family or 1:1 facilitation of ACP conversations—general interest, first steps, documentation review and/or completion. In most cases, they can also help as witnesses and notaries. Learn more about these programs on the Northwest Regional Council website.
Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest
Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest is a joint initiative between the Washington State Hospital Association and Washington State Medical Association Foundation for Health Care Improvement. They have community events ranging from public webinars on understanding advance care planning to ACP facilitator certification courses. Find an upcoming event.
Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions
In frank, layperson's terms, Dr. Bill Lombard, a nephrologist, discusses the meaning of advanced medical interventions, such as ventilators, pressers, CPR. He focuses on what these "interventions" mean to average people and their families, and on patient outcomes when these interventions are employed.
This information should help you can make informed decisions about your own choices for care. It also addresses advance care planning, advance directives, and the importance of palliative care and how and when a POLST (Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment) should be used.
After reviewing this information, if you need clarification on an aspect of a medical intervention before you tackle completing your Advance Directive, email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will contact Dr. Lombard, who has agreed to clarify wherever possible. We CANNOT provide personal medical advice.
Download additional resources from the presentation.
Dr. Lombard's slides
Glossary of Terms