Santa Rosa, CA – September 7, 2018 – When someone is sick, it's natural to ask, "What can I
do to help?" or "What can I do for you?" It feels good to
fulfill someone's wishes. But if your loved one is so sick that he or she is
unable to speak and you don't already know what he or she wants—that feels
Yet roughly 50% of us are likely to be unable to speak for
ourselves in a future medical situation. Advance care planning is the process
of thinking about, talking about, and documenting your healthcare wishes and
priorities—before a crisis occurs.
To help residents prepare, My
Care My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County will host a free advance care planning
workshop, Who Will Speak for You If You Can't Speak for Yourself? on
Tuesday, October 16, 2-4 p.m., at the
Redwood Credit Union Community Room, 3033 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa. Register online at MyCareMyPlanSonoma.org under Events,
by phone at (707) 565-5950, or by email to email@example.com.
"In my practice, I am commonly
struck by the added burden families feel as they face the stress and conflict
of choosing treatment strategies when they never had conversations with their
loved ones ahead of time about the things that matter most to them in the
context of life-threatening illness," says Gary Johanson,
MD, Medical Director, Memorial Hospice and St. Joseph Palliative Care Services. "This added burden is so preventable through
advance care planning."
"It might feel awkward to be the
one to start that 'what matters most' conversation," adds Dorothy
Foster, LMFT and co-chair of My Care My Plan: Speak
Up, Sonoma County, "but it's a conversation you
want to have on your own time--rather than in the emergency department under
the pressure of a crisis."
and Foster will lead the October workshop, designed for anyone over age 18. Participants consider the type of care they would want in a health
crisis, and how to make their wishes known through thoughtful advance care
planning and clear, written, advance health care directives. The presenters
will also offer ideas for how to talk with family, loved ones, and healthcare
providers about medical treatment options, tradeoffs, and wishes.
My Care, My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County’s (MyCareMyPlanSonoma.org) vision is for every adult
in the county to become educated and empowered to express his/her wishes about
end-of-life care, to have the opportunity to do so, and to have their wishes
honored in a medical crisis. This is an initiative of the Committee for
Healthcare Improvement and Sonoma County Health
Action, which mobilize community partnerships
and resources to achieve equity and improve health for all in Sonoma County.
MCMP is a collaborative of organizations and individuals from the private,
public, nonprofit, and volunteer sectors, including local healthcare and social
service organizations and other community partners.