If you became unable to make decisions about your healthcare, would anyone know your wishes? How will you make sure that healthcare providers know what type of treatment you want – or don’t want?
“After more than 20 years working in health and human service settings, I have witnessed many unfortunate ethical dilemmas that families and health care providers face when they are forced to make decisions for patients who can’t communicate for themselves,” says Luke Reynolds, Executive Director at LifeCircles-PACE.
It’s a common problem with an easy solution. It just takes a little planning, and the staff at Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care, based in Muskegon, Michigan, can help. The organization has partnered with the Charted Healthcare Planning Coalition (Charted) to ensure, through outreach and education, that adults in the region know how to make a plan for their healthcare needs.
To carry out that work, Harbor Hospice recently received a $25,000 grant from the Health Project Community Benefit Board.
“We are grateful and excited about the grant, which will make it possible for us to continue to educate members of the community on the importance of advance care planning so each individual’s healthcare wishes can be honored,” said Lisa Cummins, president and CEO of Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care. “Planning in advance means family members don’t have to make difficult decisions for someone close to them, without knowing what they want.”
“This grant will allow Charted Healthcare Planning Coalition to equip people with the education and tools necessary to ensure everyone’s wishes are known,” adds Reynolds, who is also co-chair of Charted.
There is no cost to prepare advance directives. Those requesting help within the community served by Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care can schedule an appointment with Andrea Nofsinger, Charted Coalition Coordinator, at 231-728-3442.
In addition to Harbor Hospice, and Life-Circles-PACE, Charted’s community partners include Affinia Health Network, Hackley Community Care, Mercy Health, Muskegon Community College, Muskegon Community Health Project, North Ottawa Medical Group, and Senior Resources of West Michigan.