Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
Advance Care Planning
We don’t wake up every day with the intent of talking about our own funerals. But I don’t like thinking about a court system talking about it for me. The reality is, an end-of-life conversation will happen in everyone’s life so don’t you want to be present for yours?
These conversations fall under the category of ‘advance care planning’ and include documents with terms like durable power of attorney, living will, and/or DNR forms. A study by the California Healthcare Foundation concluded that 82% of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing, yet only 23% have actually done it. The documentation is usually the primary focus, but today, we would like to highlight why the discussion is important. Why would someone want to discuss these topics? Stress.
American Psychology Association describes three types of stress. Acute Stress comes from demands and pressures of the recent past and anticipated demands and pressures of the near future. Episodic Acute Stress stems from personality traits of excessive impatience or ceaseless worry – “something bad is going to happen”. And finally, there is Chronic Stress related to unrelenting demands and pressures for seemingly interminable periods of time. We stress about wanting to talk to our son, mother, friend, etc. about advance care planning, but don’t know how to break the ice.
At Emmanuel Hospice we understand that advance care planning involves discussing difficult topics, but exploring them can be some of the deepest, most enriching conversations of someone’s life. So, in honor of National Healthcare Decision Day, we are hosting four separate ‘conversation nights’ to bring our community together. These light-hearted, informative events will help you through these ‘what-if scenarios’, and you simply need to take the first step and show up! The dates and locations are as follows:
Tuesday, April 7th @ 7pm-8:15pm
Sunset Manor & Villages – The Chapel
725 Baldwin St. Jenison, MI 49428
Monday, April 13th @ 6:30pm-8pm
St. Ann’s Home – Holy Family Center
2161 Leonard St. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Monday, April 20th @ 6:30pm-8pm
Clark Retirement Home – The BK Room
1551 Franklin St. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Tuesday, April 21th @ 6:30pm-8pm
Porter Hills Village – The Gallery
3600 E. Fulton St. Grand Rapids, MI 49546
For RSVP or any questions related to these events please call 616-719-0919, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources regarding advance care planning:
Making Choices Michigan is a non-profit, community collaborative that provides free advance care planning to West Michigan residents. This is the best first step to make as a trained ‘facilitator’ can help you navigate forms and questions to discover what your wishes are. Call 616-421-4840 to set an appointment at your convenience.
The 5 Wishes form is a user friendly “living will” and Durable Power of Attorney for healthcare. Able to complete online for free.
The Conversation Project has a conversation starter kit similar to 5 wishes form.
“My Gift of Grace” is a card game about living and dying well. This tool helps facilitate the conversation and ‘break the ice’.