Submitted by Providence Health & Services, Southwest Washington

Our perspectives change as we move through life’s stages — when we reach 25, 45, 65, and if we’re lucky, 85 and beyond. Early on, we might feel invincible and willing to take significant physical risks, and then later on carefully safeguard our health.  Life is not predictable, however we can take steps to consider what health care choices we want in the future and who can help make sure our choices are honored.

Providence Health and Services National Healthcare Decisions Day Infographic
Photo courtesy: Providence Health & Services

What if?

  • Severe allergic reaction causes your airway to swell and you wake up on a breathing machine?
  • Your spouse is in a car accident and is unconscious?
  • Your 95-year-old grandmother falls and needs surgery?
  • Your best friend’s cancer returns and she wants your support to avoid further treatment?
  • An earthquake causes your brother’s store to collapse with him inside?

Do you and your loved ones know enough to make the best health care decisions for one another?

Activities Planned to Help You

To help you decide who will speak for you and what health care decisions you want, Providence has several one-hour Advance Care Planning Workshops and drop-in sessions following National HealthCare Decisions Day (which falls on April 16).

These free activities are open to all.

Advanced Care Planning Drop-in Session

Date Activity Location Address
April 18 ACP Drop-In Session

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Providence St. Peter Hospital

Executive Conference Room

413 Lilly Rd NE

Olympia, WA  98506

Informal opportunity to get resources, discuss advance care planning, and complete advance directive.  Make use of free notary services and/or talk with Certified Respecting Choices® First Steps® ACP Facilitators. (Bring your driver’s license or other identification for notary services.)

Advance Care Planning Workshop:  “Are You Prepared?”

Date Activity Location Address
April 19 ACP Workshop

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Providence St. Peter Hospital

200 Rooms

413 Lilly Rd NE

Olympia, WA  98506

April 26 ACP Workshop

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Providence St. Peter Hospital

200 Rooms

413 Lilly Rd NE

Olympia, WA  98506

One hour workshop helps you:

  • Increase understanding of Advance Care Planning and documents
  • Consider personal choices for future health care
  • Know the characteristics of a good health care agent
  • Identify steps to complete or update ACP Documents (specifically Advance Directives)

Sign up at www.provregister.org (sign up not required by requested for planning purposes).

For more information and to download Advance Care Planning documents, go to the Providence Southwest Washington Advance Care Planning page.

Preparing for Potential Adversity

Advance care planning (ACP) is a process that helps you focus on the “what ifs” – to think about the health care you may want for yourself in the future, and to help your loved ones and caregivers know what you want if you cannot communicate. It includes conversations about your goals, values and beliefs, and should result in legal documents to help make sure your preferences are honored.

Providence Health and Services National Healthcare Decisions Day Sandy Adams
Sandy Adams, Advance Care Planning Project Leader for Providence Southwest Washington, encourages all adults to consider future health care and name a person they trust to speak for them if they cannot. Photo courtesy: Providence Health & Services

In recent years, ACP has taken on a new focus in the U.S. and abroad. As part of an initiative in Southwest Washington, Providence, other health care providers and community partners have teamed up to help individuals take action now, before a crisis.

Sandy Adams, Advance Care Planning Project Leader for Providence Southwest Washington, encourages ALL adults to consider future health care and name a person they trust to speak for them if they cannot.  Adams says that while most of us want to make our own choices, experience tells us that about 70 percent of us at some point in our lives will depend on someone else to make a health care decision for us. “I personally find that less scary if it is the person I chose and I’ve talked with them about what I want,” she says.  Contact Adams to schedule additional advance care planning workshops or presentations in the community at AdvCarePlanningSWWA@providence.org.

Providence trains facilitators to help our community members consider their health care wishes and complete ACP documents. The goal is to encourage all adults to have conversations and complete documents starting when young and healthy, and then update as the years pass and life changes.

Take action this year in recognition of National Healthcare Decisions Day!!

This work is supported by the Providence St. Peter Foundation and is offered to all — Providence patients, caregivers, and other community members.

Get the most out of your advance care planning:

  • Talk with your loved ones
  • Talk with your doctor
  • Record your wishes
  • Have your advance directive witnessed or notarized. (Give a copy to your doctor and health care representative and keep the original.)
  • Continue the dialogue. Review your plan regularly, especially when one of the “five ds” occurs: another decade, death of a loved one, divorce, diagnosis, health decline

Why advance care planning?

  • 90 percent of people say talking to their loved ones about end-of-life care is important; 27 percent have done it
  • 82 percent of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing; 23 percent have done it
  • 80 percent of people say they would prefer to die at home; 20 percent do
Print Friendly, PDF & Email