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End-of-life resources available at St. Luke’s on National Healthcare Decisions Day

St. Luke’s Hospital invites the community to “start the conversation” Monday, when professional staff will be available to answer questions and provide forms and other resources that will help individuals consider, talk about and understand their preferences for end-of-life care.

This free event will be offered in St. Luke’s Hospital’s main lobby from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and again from 1 to 3 p.m.

April 16 has been designated as National Healthcare Decisions Day to inspire, educate and empower the public and healthcare providers of the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their end-of-life wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

Having the conversation includes determining who to appoint as a healthcare proxy–the person who will make decisions about your medical care if you become unable to make them for yourself. Your proxy can talk with your doctors, consult your medical records, and make decisions about tests, procedures and other treatment when injury or illness prevent you from expressing your wishes.

According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, half of all people over the age of 65 who are admitted to a hospital are unable to make decisions for themselves.

“Quite often, people wait until it’s too late to think about advance directives,” said Cornelia Scibetta, medical/surgical manager at St. Luke’s Hospital. “Sharing your wishes for end-of-life care can bring you closer to the people you love, and give peace of mind and reassurance that your wishes will be carried out. It’s critically important for all involved.”

For additional information about “Start the Conversation,” contact Scibetta at Cornelia.Scibetta@slhnc.org or 828-894-0984. 

-Submitted by St. Luke’s Hospital