“Who will speak on our behalf about medical care if we cannot speak for ourselves?" asked Helen Sampson, Quality Coordinator with the ADRC and member of the Kenosha County Care Transition Coalition, “It is one of the things we actually can control. Because Wisconsin is not a next-of-kin state, we should be proactive about planning ahead as early as age 18. With just a little time and thought, completing an advance directive is not hard. All adults can and should complete a power of attorney for health care. It’s never too late, until it’s too late.”
The public is invited to a celebration of National Healthcare Decisions Day on Friday, April 21 from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Kenosha County Job Center, 8600 Sheridan Road, Entrance A, Room N2. National Healthcare Decisions Day is an opportunity for Americans to make their future healthcare decisions known to family, friends and healthcare providers, through the establishment of advance directives, such as a living will or a power of attorney for healthcare.
Rita Hagen, Executive Director of Hospice Alliance, explained, “An Advance Directive allows you to express your choices if you are unable to and to choose who can make decisions for you if you are unable to. They help to ensure good quality of life and end-of-life care. They eliminate confusion and conflict, give peace of mind and reduce stress.”
Kenosha’s event will host a panel of community members and leaders who will share what completing an advance directive means to them. This year’s panel is a reminder that advance directives are important for all adults. The Coalition is excited to welcome Samantha Kerkman, Kenosha County Executive; Ri’Ana Johnson, Educator and Author; and Nicholas Eschmann, Division Chief of EMS.
“Advance Directives are legal documents that spell out specific decisions about care ahead of time to avoid a crisis conversation,” shared Jaymie L. Laurent, Senior Director of Social Services, Patient Relations and Spiritual Care with Froedtert South. “Completing an Advance Directive gives our patients and their families a peace of mind. It answers specific questions regarding health care and guides the health care team on the delivery of care to be carried out.”
The event is sponsored by the Kenosha County Care Transitions Coalition, which includes: Advocate Aurora Health, Brookside Care Center, Community Care, Inc., Crossroads Care Center, CVS Aetna, The Manor of Kenosha, Froedtert South, Good Value Pharmacy, Hospice Alliance, Kenosha Area Family and Aging Services, Kenosha Community Health Center, Kenosha County Aging & Disability Resource Center, Kenosha County Division of Aging, Disability & Behavioral Health Services, Kenosha Visiting Nurse Association, My Choice Wisconsin, Right At Home, Superior Health Quality Alliance, and The Bay at Sheridan.
Registration to the event is encouraged. To register or for additional information, please call the Kenosha County Aging & Disability Resource Center at 262-605-6646.