End-of-Life workshop helps people ‘Face the Elephant in the Room’

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY/LCFH) — Lower Cape Fear Hospice is holding a no cost workshop on Friday, April 21 at their Phillips LifeCare and Counseling Center at 1414 Physicians Drive in Wilmington from 10am to 11am.

The workshop is open to the public and those attending will receive a free copy of “It’s Time to Face the Elephant in the Room: 7 Step Workbook for Advance Care Planning”.

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“Unfortunately, it’s not just illness,”Jason Clamme of Lower Cape Fear Hospice said of the importance of having an end-of-life plan.  “It’s things like accidents, it’s anything that can happen that can affect your healthcare and give information to others about what your preferences would be.”

The long-range goal of this initiative is to educate people about advance care planning and to have equipment and processes in place so that critical end-of-life important information is readily available if something should happen.

Organizers say it is an uncomfortable topic but one everyone needs to face.
Some of the reasons why include:
• You never know when a serious illness or critical injury will make it unable for you to communicate your health care wishes, and having a plan in place ensures your wishes are known.
• So many times, loved ones are at odds because they find themselves in a situation of having to make hard healthcare decisions without truly knowing what someone wants, which can add further stress and conflict to the situation. Advance care planning ensures your healthcare choices are known and relieves loved ones from the stress and anxiety of guessing about what you want.
• More than 70 percent of all people state that they want to die at home but very few do because they have not had the conversation with loved ones and put documents into place to ensure their healthcare wishes are known.
• As we age, heroic, life-saving measures can actually cause additional injuries and pain. Having advance care plans in place ensures you receive the kind of care and death you want.
• We understand that most people don’t like talking about death. However, avoiding talking about it does not mean you can avoid it happening. The point in talking about it is so that people can decide how they want the last part of their lives to play out. Where they want to be, who they want to be with and what types of medical interventions they want or don’t want. It gives them the power to be the author of their own lives right up to the very end. We feel that is why the conversation is so important.

Here are some of the opportunities by attending the free event:
• What documents you need in NC to legally document your advance care wishes
• How to start the conversation with loved ones and physicians about healthcare wishes
• What’s contained in the workbook
• What happens if you are in an emergency situation and your wishes are not documented
• What information will be covered in the workshop