Every dollar counts!!
June 01, 2016
BENEFITING: COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SERVING SOUTHWEST COLORADO
EVENT DATE: Jun 30, 2016
The Community Health Action Coalition (CHAC) has been awarded $199,927 in funding from the Colorado Health Foundation to promote Advance Care Planning (ACP) in La Plata County over the span of two years. CHAC’s new ACP initiative, “My Life: Deciding in Advance” will increase the number of adults, 18 and older, who are actively engaged in the decision-making process about their health.
Picture that you’re at the hospital with serious injuries from a vehicle crash. Or that you’re in a doctor’s office hearing the word “cancer” for the first time. Scary, right? Over-the-top stressful, right?
In the midst of this, you’re asked if you have an Advance Directive. Have you thought about the medical care you would want in a crisis or if you were unable to speak? What forms of life-sustaining treatments would you want or not want? Breathing machine? Kidney dialysis? Resuscitation if your heart stops? Does your family know your wishes? Are they written down?
Is that really when you first want to think about such things? Of course not. These important decisions need to be made far earlier, ideally when you can take time to think and are not stressed. And although the vast majority of adults recognize this as important, fewer than 30% of people have discussed this with their family and put their wishes in writing.
My Life: Deciding in Advance is a new initiative in southwest Colorado to raise awareness about Advance Care Planning, coordinated by the Community Health Action Coalition in La Plata County, Colorado. We will educate Durango and rural La Plata County communities, facilitating discussions about taking charge of our own future healthcare. We will provide ways for everyone to take care of their own Advance Care Planning. We will encourage physicians and other healthcare providers to start the discussion with patients. We will train attorneys, financial planners and other professionals to comfortably raise the issue about Advance Care Planning. But we need your help.
One example of our initiative’s benefit to you is obtaining free Advanced Directive forms by clicking here.
And once we have demonstrated the success of our comprehensive model, we want to share this with other communities across the country.
So what exactly is Advance Care Planning? It can be most simply defined as the process of developing and expressing your wishes for future healthcare under various circumstances, especially when you are unable to speak for yourself. What forms of life-sustaining treatments would you want or not want? Breathing machine? Kidney dialysis? Resuscitation if your heart stops? Your wishes would apply to a variety of medical conditions at any age, from sudden accidents to chronic illnesses. Think heart disease, cancer, stroke, organ failure, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. Advance Care Planning includes conditions that wax and wane, as well as end-of-life planning for terminal illnesses.
Please watch our brief video to better understand the importance of Advance Care Planning.
Advance Care Planning takes place in stages:
1. Consideration of one’s wishes and Conversation with one’s family, friends, medical providers and other trusted advisors to clearly identify and articulate the desires of the individual.
2. Documentation of the wishes of the individual. This can take many forms, but these are generally referred to as Advance Directives.
3. Communication and delivery of one’s Advance Directives to all appropriate entities including family, healthcare providers, and medical facilities ranging from hospitals to nursing facilities to hospice.
Goal of the Initiative: Expand the conversation and actions about Advance Care Planning in southwest Colorado and beyond.
What your donation will be used to accomplish:
1. Create and provide tools to:
• clarify thinking about future care;
• facilitate conversations with loved ones;
• explain the various documents used to record wishes and to outline where to obtain the documents;
• educate about resources available to help with decision making, communication and documentation;
• communicate with healthcare providers and facilities so wishes are known;
• make written wishes available so they are not hidden away in a drawer or safety deposit box.
2. Present education throughout the community about Advance Care Planning.
3. Work with the healthcare system to support these discussions and to insure documents are appropriately recorded in the system so wishes can be fulfilled.
We hope you want to take action for yourself and for your loved ones. And we hope you will support our effort with a donation which will allow My Life: Deciding in Advance to grow and impact lives here and across the country. With our success we want to share our model with other communities, thereby enabling you and your loved ones, regardless of location, to have access to the tools needed to help you decide and express your wishes, and to know your loved ones’ wishes.
Your donation of any amount will be used to support My Life: Deciding in Advance. Please make your donation as soon as possible, as the initial stages (April and May 2016) of this initiative require the greatest funding. However, as the initiative moves forward, your support will be appreciated at any time. Thank you for the opportunity to help you plan the care you want and to know the care your loved ones want. We think you should be in charge!