2018-04-11 / Front Page

Decisions Day

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The Putnam County Hospice and Palliative Care Association is promoting National Healthcare Decisions Day (April 16) to inspire, educate, and empower the public to engage in advance care planning and conversations. Additional information is available at the Association’s website at https://pchpca.org.

Advancements in medical care and treatment have improved the quality and quantity of life for everyone in the developed world. And now, for the first time in history, human beings are adjusting to the reality that attempting to prolong life artificially is not always a good thing to do – or even the right thing to do. We are having to make decisions we never had to deal with before. Fortunately, medical advances have also brought us hospice and palliative care to help make the end of life journey as peaceful and life-filled as possible.

Advance care planning encompasses not only preparation of legal documents but more importantly, having conversations with family members and physicians about what the future may hold, how individuals and families want their beliefs and preferences to guide decisions, and what steps might alleviate concerns related to finances, family matters, spiritual questions, and other issues that trouble seriously ill patients and their families.

As I near my sixth decade of life, I have buried several loved ones. As time moves on, I will bury more loved ones, or they will bury me. I know from experience, that the conversations and planning involved can be emotional, but they are so important – not only for the individual, but also for the family and friends who are left behind to try to make good decisions during overwhelming, confusing, emotional, and stressful situations.

On April 16, National Health Care Decisions Day, make plans to have a conversation with someone about the end of life journey. If you would like to have a conversation with someone from the Putnam County Hospice and Palliative Care Association, call us at 765-655- 2524 or email us at info@pchpca.org.

Elaine Peck
Board Member
Putnam County Hospice and
Palliative Care Association

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