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Wise Aging: End-of-Life Choice in California, Family Stories session 2

Temple Sinai Oakland

Wise Aging: End-of-Life Choice in California, Family Stories—Zoom

Sunday, July 10, 2022  11 Tammuz 5782

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Zoom

This is the second session addressing end-of-life choices.In the first session, we covered the details about end-of-life choice, along with the Reform Jewish perspective.In this session, we plan to have a discussion including family members and friends who have been involved in implementing the decision.

Join this gathering live via Zoom Or dial in by phone to: (669) 900-9128
Meeting ID: 814 0702 0804

For more information, please contact Stewart Florsheim.

San Diego Academy of Family Physicians 2022 Symposium

SDAFP is holding its 65th Annual Family Medicine Update 2022 and is scheduled to be Live and In Person June 24th-26th, 2022! It will take place at the Paradise Point in Mission Bay, San Diego. Please note: Proof of Covid vaccination will be required for all attendees.

End of Life Choices California is hosting an Exhibit Booth.  Please drop by and introduce yourself!  For more information about our booth, please contact Lynne Calkins lcalkins@endoflifechoicesca.org
Thank you!

Apoyo y Ayuda al Final / Support and Help at the End

abuelita

Esta nota bilingüe fue publicada previamente en La Voz y en Impulso News. Si usted desea apoyar nuestro alcance a la comunidad Latinx, escriba a la Doctora Marisol a doctoramarisolmunoz@gmail.com.

This bilingual piece first appeared in La Voz and Impulso News. If you would like to support our outreach to the Latinx community, please contact Doctora Marisol at doctoramarisolmunoz@gmail.com.

Apoyo y Ayuda al Final

By Marisol Muñoz-Kiehne PhD

Por el pasillo
hacia el gran misterio
desfilaremos.

Del desfile hacia la muerte nadie se escapa, hayamos o no participado en vida en desfiles de festival, boda o graduación. Si bien para éste no hay ensayos, estudios, ni celebración, a todos nos sirve la preparación.

Al Final de la Vida

Lentamente o de repente,
tarde o temprano se detiene el corazón.
Preparémonos con conocimiento, compañía,
comprensión y compasión.

Primero, las malas noticias. En muchas culturas hay mitos y tabús sobre la muerte, complicando el camino hacia el inevitable destino, resultando en que evitemos esta conversación. Lamentablemente, al final muchos sufren dolorosamente por falta de conocimiento y de comunicación.

Ahora, las buenas noticias. Profesionales de la salud, líderes religiosos, personalidades públicas y seres queridos se han dado a la tarea de romper con los mitos y tabús, ofreciendo fiable información y orientación. Y este asunto está llamando la atención de los medios de difusión. ¿Vio los programas Aquí y Ahora y Al Punto presentados en marzo por Univisión? ¿Escuchó la entrevista con la admirada activista Dolores Huerta cuando habló en La Bomba Mañanera?

Existen organizaciones abogando en las legislaturas, tribunales y sistemas de salud para mejorar la atención médica y empoderar a todos para trazar el viaje al final de la vida. En el camino hacia la muerte tenemos aliados y abogados. ¡Y tenemos más de una opción!

Opciones

Quizás hay tantas maneras
de encarar la muerte y el morir
como hay maneras
de encarar la vida y el vivir.

Sabemos que hay versiones diversas de cómo vivir una vida buena y plena. ¿Sabía usted que contamos con varias opciones para morir una muerte digna y serena? Entre ellas se encuentran la muerte natural, el cese de tratamientos médicos, el hospicio, los cuidados paliativos, la sedación paliativa, la suspensión voluntaria de la comida y la bebida, y la ayuda médica para morir.  

En California

Todos quienes vivimos en California tenemos derecho a guías gratuitas a lo largo del camino, gracias a la organización Opciones para el Final de la Vida en California (EOLCCA, por sus siglas en inglés).  Su misión es “brindar información y apoyo para navegar con éxito las opciones legales para el final de la vida”. EOLCCA proporciona servicios confidenciales, disponibles en español, sin importar los ingresos o el estatus migratorio. Tienen voluntarios que ofrecen apoyo e información general y específica a quienes planifican y toman decisiones al final de la vida, y a sus seres queridos. Educan sobre las opciones disponibles, de manera que las decisiones reflejen los deseos, valores, preferencias y prioridades de cada cual. La página web de EOLCCA, https://endoflifechoicesca.org/, tiene traducción al español y contiene innumerables recursos útiles, incluyendo formularios y documentos para ser descargados y personalizados en cualquier momento.

Estoy tan bien impresionada con esta organización y sus voluntarios que acepté formar parte de su comité de consultores. Todos ocupamos sus ofrecimientos, para nosotros mismos y para nuestros familiares y amigos. ¡Qué alivio saber que contamos con guías de confianza al final del camino!

Sobre la Autora

Marisol Muñoz-Kiehne PhD (‘Doctora Marisol’) es integrante del Comité Asesor de EOLCCA.  Ella es una psicóloga clínica comunitaria quien aporta al bienestar humano mediante la enseñanza, la escritura, y los medios de difusión. Trabajó en salud mental comunitaria por más de 30 años. Ha brindado información e inspiración a través de la radio/podcasts (‘Nuestros Niños’, ‘Cuerpo Corazón Comunidad’) y programas de TV/videos por más de 15 años. Ha enseñado en varias universidades, habla en conferencias y eventos comunitarios, y escribe para publicaciones impresas y digitales.

Support and Help at the End

By Marisol Muñoz-Kiehne PhD

Down the long hallway
towards the great mystery
we will all parade.

No one escapes proceeding toward death, whether or not we participated in graduation, wedding, or festival processions. While there may not be rehearsals, dry runs, or celebrations for our death procession, we will all benefit from preparation.

At the End of Life

Slowly or suddenly,
sooner or later everyone dies.
May we seek knowledgeable guidance
and kind guides.

First, the bad news. In many cultures, there are myths and taboos about death, which complicate the path to the inevitable destination, and cause us to avoid this conversation. Unfortunately, at the end, many suffer painfully due to a lack of knowledge and clear communication.

Now, the good news. Health professionals, religious leaders, public figures, and loved ones have taken on the task of busting myths and taboos, offering guidance and reliable information. And this subject is attracting media attention. Did you watch the Aquí y Ahora and Al Punto programs presented in March on Univision TV? Did you listen to the interview with admired activist Dolores Huerta when she spoke from the heart on La Bomba Mañanera?

Some organizations advocate in legislatures, courts, and health systems to improve health care and empower everyone to chart their end-of-life journeys. We have allies and advocates on the road to death. And we have more than one option!

Options

Perhaps there are as many ways
of facing death and dying
as there are ways
of facing life and living.

We know that there are various versions of how to live a good and full life. Did you know that we have several options for dying with dignity and serenity? These include natural death, stopping unwanted medical treatment, hospice, palliative care, palliative sedation, voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, and medical aid in dying.

In California

Everyone who lives in California has the right to free guidance along the way, thanks to an organization called End of Life Choices California (EOLCCA). Its mission is to “provide Californians the information and support to successfully navigate their legal end-of-life options.” EOLCCA delivers confidential services, available in Spanish, regardless of income or immigration status. Their volunteers offer individuals and their loved ones support and general and specific information for end- of-life planning and decision-making. They educate about the available options, so that decisions reflect each person’s wishes, values, preferences, and priorities. EOLCCA’s website, has a Spanish translation and contains countless resources, including useful forms and documents that can be downloaded and personalized at any time.

I am so impressed with this organization and its volunteers that I agreed to be part of their Advisory Committee. We all need these offerings, for ourselves and for our family and friends. What a relief to know that we have trustworthy guides for the end!

About the Author

Marisol Muñoz-Kiehne PhD (‘Doctora Marisol’) is a member of the EOLCCA Advisory Committee. She is a clinical community psychologist and contributes to human well-being through teaching, writing, and media. She worked in community mental health for over 30 years and has provided information and inspiration through radio/podcasts (‘Nuestros Niños’, ‘Cuerpo Corazón Comunidad’) and TV/video programs for  over 15 years. She has taught at various universities, speaks at conferences and community events, and writes for print and digital outlets.

 

 

Para más información o apoyo de los voluntarios de EOLCCA, llame al (760) 636-8009. Se habla español.

Your Voice – Lessening the impact of dementia

The joy of growing up for me was to be on my own, make my own way, and be myself. Of course, accomplishing these goals is more than the compilation of many birthdays, and is often not easy. Yet multiple decades later, I now hold dear many values and viewpoints which make me–me! And the same is true for many of us, across all walks of human life. The opportunity to represent and guide your own life is an innate part of being yourself. 

When Dementia Takes Hold

This treasured aspect of humanity is impacted when dementia develops and takes hold.  Medical professionals often talk about Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia) being one of the most feared diseases because of this impact to “self”–self-representation and self-determination.  

I witnessed this first-hand, watching my grandmother deteriorate from Alzheimer’s disease. Like too many others, the disease slowly but surely removed the ability for my grandmother to represent herself. She could no longer talk and had no capacity to express herself–her wishes, views, or needs. My grandmother passed away after years of 24×7 care in different nursing homes which kept her alive, but sadly were not informed to customize their care to her wishes and needs.

Mother with dementia and daughter
Representing Ourselves Now

While we do not yet have a way to fully avoid the future possibility of debilitating dementia, we do have the opportunity to communicate our own wishes, views, and needs. We can represent ourselves now. The following resources are ways to communicate to both loved ones and health care providers: 

A health care directive for dementia

Developed by Dr. Barak Gaster via the dementia-directive.org and available for download from our site, this directive describes three levels or stages of dementia impact. For each stage, you may select from a set of three goals to communicate the type of care you would want to receive.    

A letter added as an amendment to a general health care directive

Created by author Katy Butler, and shared via the Conversation Project organization, this letter can be used as-is, or as a template and modified per your wishes. It provides a thorough listing of specific guidance for various care and treatment options when one can no longer represent oneself.

A dementia directive or amendment serves to clearly inform loved ones and health care teams.  And though currently neither is legally binding, those who are in a position to care for you will be enabled and encouraged to honor you by aligning future care to your views and wishes. Your own voice will be communicated and clear. 

To read more about this topic, please visit our website.

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Becky Oliver is a volunteer with EOLCCA.  Her professional life has been spent as part of Silicon Valley’s tech industry.  Outside of work, her personal passions include contributing to end-of-life causes, with a specific interest in the nature of care for the aging and those nearing end of life.