2021-Sep/Oct - SSV Medicine

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Make a Plan Now With Honoring Wishes Advance Directives Aren’t Just for Patients


ar too often, families are left scrambling to figure out what to do when a loved one is dying. As a physician, you’ve likely seen this happen too many times, where rifts form in families, feelings boil over, and accusations fly while the only person who truly knows the answer is unable to voice it. We know this is not something you’d want to see in your family. It can be easily avoided by having an advance care directive in place. Earlier this year, SSVMS introduced our Honoring Wishes program, made possible through the generous giving of the late Al Kahane, MD and Mildred “Millie” Kahane, RN, to help physicians facilitate meaningful end-of-life care conversations and planning with patients and their families.

SSVMS is encouraging you to complete your own advance care directive and assisting you through our Make a Plan campaign. We’re now adding a new focus to Honoring Wishes: encouraging and assisting you to complete your own advance care directive through our Make a Plan campaign. Completing this short document can save your family from painful decisions while also giving you experience to draw upon when speaking with patients. Medicare, Medi-Cal and many private insurance payers will reimburse you for discussing end-of-life care with your patients because it is an essential, but often overlooked, element of care. SSVMS is collaborating with several medical staffs in the region to bring the Make a Plan campaign to a hospital, clinic, or practice near you where we will be providing free, one-on-one appointments to assist you with documenting your wishes. At the conclusion of the appointment, we will provide you the document on a flash drive so you can share it with your personal 6

Sierra Sacramento Valley Medicine

By Aileen Wetzel awetzel@ssvms.org

Scan here to start your Five Wishes directive or to set an appointment for help.

physician and designated agent. If you prefer, you can download the directive on your own or receive an email that includes instructions. Just like the care you specify in your directive, it’s your choice. I want to note that these materials and conversations are yours and are confidential. SSVMS does not keep a copy of your plan, so it is essential to leave it in a secure place that is accessible to your family or appointed agent in case you are incapacitated. After an exhaustive search, Honoring Wishes chose the Five Wishes directive from Aging with Dignity. Five Wishes is America’s most popular living will and speaks to medical, personal, emotional needs. It has been distributed to over 40,000 organizations. You know how challenging and difficult end-of-life care conversations can be with patients and families. Deciding on an advance decision about your own care can be just as challenging—and just as necessary—and that’s why we’re here to help with the forms that will enable you to clearly state your preferences and by offering counseling to assist you in determining what is best for you and your family. To start your Five Wishes directive, scan the QR code. You can then determine how you would prefer to complete it, either by setting an appointment for assistance or downloading it and completing it on your own. If you have any questions or wish to learn more about Five Wishes or the Honoring Wishes program, please contact Marlee Turner at mturner@ssmvs.org.

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