Health Aging Martha's Vineyard and Vineyard Haven Library will present a virtual (online) 90 minute session to share and discuss information on advance care planning (ACP) which is the process by which an individual lets his or her wishes be known about end-of-life care as well as taking the time to reflect on what matters most to us, and what a good day would look like if we are facing a serious illness. Our facilitators will share how advance care planning is done and how these conversations can occur. The session will be interactive so you can ask questions and hear others thoughts on the subject.
Anyone 18 or older is welcome to join us, although attendance will be limited and you will need internet access to participate. RSVP via email to: email@example.com or call 508 696 4211 x116 and leave a detailed message.
Can't attend this session? We're sharing some advice below from Healthy Aging MV. Visit the Advance Care Planning section of the Healthy Aging website for additional resources and links:
Whatever your age or circumstance, it is increasingly important to be prepared in case of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus or other diseases by following these key steps:
Pick your person.Choose a friend, family member or other trusted person to make medical decisions on your behalf. We can’t control everything, but we can control who will speak for us. Talk to a friend, a family member or other trusted person about becoming your medical care decision-maker if you can’t make decisions for yourself. Make sure the person you choose knows what is important to you first and foremost.
Make it official.Document that person in an official state health care proxy/agent/power of attorney form or an Advance Directive, a term for any written health care instruction that specifies your wishes or names a proxy for you. And if given circumstances mean you can’t make it official make sure the person you choose knows what is important to you and your preferences for the amount and types of treatments you would want to receive.
Talk about it. What do you need the person who would make medical decisions for you to know about what matters to you, so they could speak up for you if you can’t? We can’t plan for everything. But we can help manage life’s unknowns by talking openly about what matters to us and what we’d want most if we became seriously ill with coronavirus disease. Conversations about things we can’t control can actually help to give us a sense of control. We may not be able to predict every choice we’ll have to make, but we can give those we love the guiding principles to confidently make decisions for us. If we don’t say it, they won’t know. Our caregivers may need to make decisions for us, whether we’ve told them what we want or not. We can’t simply assume they know. Open conversations can pave a way to clarity, provide comfort and bring people together.
Stay informed.Know on how your local health department is responding to COVID-19. Check the websites of your local and state departments of public health for updated information on guidelines and procedures for coping during the coronavirus outbreak.