How to encourage parents to complete an advance directive

How to encourage parents to complete an advance directive

It’s a touchy situation. You love your aging parents and want to do what’s best for them. You know they should be planning for their end-of-life care and putting their wishes into writing. If they would complete an advance directive, you’d be sure they will receive the care they want, under any circumstances, even when they may not be able to speak for themselves.

Advance Care Planning: Let’s learn from “When Breath Becomes Air”

Advance Care Planning: Let’s learn from “When Breath Becomes Air”

Advance Care Planning was the focus of JourneyCare’s Life is a Journey education event that took place on April 17. This cause was a passion of mine even before I headed out on my first 'Ride for 3 Reasons' in 2001. After I completed three solo cross-country bike rides, I passed the torch to my fellow Barrington resident 17-year-old Jan Gierlach last year. The trip we had in common took us more than 3,200 miles from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida to raise awareness and funds to benefit three causes dear to our hearts. One of these is hospice. Part of the proceeds has benefitted JourneyCare and is helping to fund the very special 'Life is a Journey' event this month.

We’re All Mortals. Let’s Plan Ahead.

We’re All Mortals. Let’s Plan Ahead.

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a nationwide initiative that aims to help people across the U.S. understand the value of advance healthcare planning.

I want to tell you about why I'm passionate about advance directives, with a hint of my irreverent sense of humor to boot.

Advance directives should be filled out when we are healthy and lucid. They should not be something we hastily prepare as our stretcher is being loaded into an ambulance.

They don't affect our everyday lives or even take effect until we are unable to make healthcare decisions for ourselves. How many people end up being non-decisional at some point? I’ve worked at the JourneyCare’s Pepper Family Hospice CareCenter in Barrington for five years now, and I can say, without exaggeration, that everyone reaches a point wherein they are unable to make decisions for themselves. This appears to only apply to mortals. So far, I have been alive for 29 years and it appears that everyone is mortal, possibly even including myself.

This Thanksgiving, Share Wishes To Honor Loved Ones

This Thanksgiving, Share Wishes To Honor Loved Ones

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with friends and family, and reflect on why we are grateful. The holiday is also a time to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. This year let’s honor those we have lost by doing something special.

As you join your family and friends around the table this year, share what brings meaning and joy to your life. Allowing your family to understand what quality of life looks like for you could help them in the future if they are asked to make medical decisions on your behalf. If we don’t have these conversations, our families may be forced to make difficult decisions without having any guidance from us.

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