Mosaic Connections set up a vendor table at St. Mary Mercy in Livonia. The event was sponsored by STARForUM for National Healthcare Decisions Day. STARForUm showed the PBS Documentary “Being Mortal”. The PBS Frontline Documentary follows surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande and the relationship with his patients in his practice of caring for the dying. The web link to view the documentary is http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/being-mortal/. Dr. Gawande’s beautifully written book, Being Mortal is a must read for professionals in the advance care planning field.
“It always seems to early, until it’s too late”
On April 20th, Mosaic Connections will promote “The Conversation” and NHDD in the Allen Park Library and Zeal Credit Union.
National Healthcare Decisions Day became nationally recognized in 2008. As described in the NHDD.org website: “NHDD is an initiative of The Conversation Project, exists as a 50-state annual initiative to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and providers/facilities through the widespread availability and dissemination of simple, free, and uniform tools (not just forms) to guide the process.”
Typically NHDD is celebrated on one day, April 16th, but this year there is emphasis on the entire week of April 16th through the 22nd. Each day has been given a tag line to highlight a different perspective of healthcare planning. Sunday’s theme is ‘Prepare’, (suggesting you gather information) Monday’s theme is ‘Start with Yourself’, aimed toward thinking about one’s own healthcare wishes. The theme on Tuesday is Family/Friends/Loved ones, encouraging you to discuss your wishes with others as well as finding out their own wishes…. and so on throughout the week, helping to break down the process in understandable and doable steps. Visiting the NHDD website will provide interested individuals, family members and healthcare professionals valuable information and support and is a wonderful resource.
What is remarkable about completing an advance directive is that it is a legal document that assures one’s choices will still be honored even if they are unable to verbalize them. It is a right that most of us take for granted. Unfortunately most people assume their wishes will be honored without any forethought, shared discussion or preemptive effort on their own part. Most people believe someone will know them well enough to honor their preferences, including the healthcare professionals, and will make decisions based on their own personal preferences. But in the clinical setting the reality is that those unspoken or undocumented wishes lead to delays, confusion and often a fracture of a family that is faced with decisions they are unprepared for or are willing to take the responsibility of making.
Having an advance directive helps to provide the best possible outcome that end of life medical choices, if you are unable to make them, are honored. The value of having a recognized spokesperson (advocate) is in itself an assurance that the person chosen by you will be responsible for decision-making on your behalf. The advocate’s authority combined with their awareness of your values and preferences is meant to ensure that their decision will come as close as possible to an autonomous decision you yourself would make. But despite of the advantages of having an advance directive, many people do not have one.
Some of the factors for not completing an advance directive include people’s misunderstanding of what the document is for, a lack of access or support in completing the form or a lack of awareness that this sort of a document is available. Often people are hesitant about discussing end of life issues or are unsure how to go about it. Family members themselves will tend to opt out of participating in the discussion. Additionally, there is a sense of ‘finality’ that concerns people who are contemplating doing an advance directive, in that they fear a choice they make today will lock them into a change of mind in the future.
Mosaic Connections believes that decisions about what sort of medical care we would or wouldn’t want at the end of our life falls into the same category as other major decisions that come throughout the course of life. Major decisions require gathering accurate information as well as relying on the feedback and support of those we trust and care about. It does matter to us what others think, feel and need. Major life decisions become easier with the support of others and we find comfort in a shared responsibility about the decisions that are made. Advance care planning involves the same elements that are important to us throughout our lifespan.
NHDD.org and The Conversation Project recognize that the completion of an advance directive document is a process. Mosaic Connections invites those in our own neighborhood to begin that process by providing a forum for local residents to ask questions and find out more about advance care planning. We will be available April 20th in the Allen Park (MI) Zeal Credit Union lobby from 12-2pm ( 7240 Park Ave) and the Allen Park Library from 4- 6pm ( 8100 Allen Road). We welcome your questions and we are proud to be a part of National Health Care Decisions Day.
Mosaic Connections builds relationships
with community resources
Over the course of the past several months we have been participating in community agency events and coalitions that provide resources for those in the communities we serve. It has been a remarkable experience learning about the resources that are available and the phenomenal organizations and individuals who are dedicated to providing support for a wide variety of different needs. In this newsletter we would like to share with you some of the groups that we have become a part of (*) or have learned about.
*The Interfaith Health and Hope Coalition: www.interfaithhelphope.org, which states on its’ website; “The Coalition cultivates a network of interconnected faith-based, health care organizations that work together to build capacity for strong healthy communities, providing health education and social policy information, advocacy, increasing access to health services, and promoting wellness”. On February 7th they sponsored a conference at St. John Providence Hospital entitled, Steering Healthcare: Destination Well Being. A Healthy Living Conference. The seminar provided a wealth of information about what is available in the community. The following is some of the information presented that we would like to pass along to you:
Commonwealth: www.micommonwealth.com. This is a website that provides impressive access to resources and includes information about community events. It is also an opportunity to network job postings and training, relay announcements by agencies about new program offerings and even provides a forum to post questions about specific resource needs.
Greater Detroit Area Health Council: www.GDAHC.org. This organization has been a regional healthcare initiative for 75 years and is part of the roll out of some extraordinary programs such as;
Choosing Wisely, www.choosingwisely.org, an initiative of ABIM (the American Board of Internal Medicine) aimed at reducing the use of unnecessary and potentially harmful tests and procedures by, in part, providing five key questions for individuals to ask their healthcare provider before getting a test or procedure.
Find MI Care, www.findmicare.org, a website that that provides information about free and low cost clinics, their locations, hours, etc. and can be searched by community area or zip code. It can be used by agencies serving their clients as well as being accessible by individuals via phone app.
The GDAHC has also helped to produce some great videos and provide supportive information about pre diabetes with its, Health Around the Corner: Diabetes Prevention program.
Within the community at large we have found that there are many interconnections between a variety of organizations and the people who participate in them. Many of our new contacts are excited to hear about Mosaic Connections mission and have linked us with other outstanding resources.
*Senior Coordinating Aging Network of Wayne County, Inc., www.scangroup.org. This organization meets every other month at rotating locations. It is a dynamic group made up of a wide variety of professionals and individuals from private, public, or nonprofit organizations serving older adults.
Hope Dementia Ministry, LLC., www.HopeDementiaMinistry.com, a faith-based, non-denominational organization that provides education and motivational workshops for caregivers who are facing the challenges of caring for loved ones with dementia/Alzheimer’s.
StarForUM, www.stmarymercy.org/starforum, began as a means to improve the trasition of care process that takes place between senior facilites and the ED, in both directions. This organization has taken the safety and well being of seniors seriously by prioritizing the communication that needs to occur and producing documentation that assures continuity of care.
*Wayne Metro Community Action Agency (CAA), www.waynemetro.org, whose mission is to “empower low-income people and strengthen communities throughout Wayne County. This agency has dozens of programs that assist with utilities, nutrition education, homeless prevention and family and literacy education. Mosaic will be presenting to this group in the March 10th meeting.
Mowtown Soup, www.mowtownsoup.com, an organization made up of 100% volunteers who make and sell dry soups and other food items. Profits go to Michigan charities, of which $600,000.00 has been distributed over the last 11 years.
These organizations and affiliations represent just a sample of what our Mosaic Connections staff have personally come in contact with or have been referred to. It is amazing to have found within our communities an outstanding host of dedicated people who truly understand that it is our connections that provide the answers to some of the greatest needs that exist for an individual, a family unit, or an underserved community.
Mosaic Connection, like all of the above named resources, also has a mission to provide the professional and compassionate support needed throughout the healthcare life span, with a special emphasis on the needs that take place right up through life’s final moments.
Mosaic Connections ‘connects’ with Chris Stepien
Mosaic Connections co-founder, Martha Hnatiuk, recently connected with Chris Stepien at the Tabernacle Society of Sacred Heart Church in Dearborn, Michigan where he discussed his new book, Dying to be Happy. The book addresses the inevitability of death and provides an alternative to fear. His message is about focusing instead on the choices you do have and how to live your life. The book was deeply influenced by his faith and his wife Ellen’s diagnosis of cancer. It is particularly meaningful for those who have or will experience loss, which is actually all of us.
Mosaic Connections’ mission is about choices too. We support a person’s right to choose the type of medical care they would or wouldn’t want as illness progresses or advanced age occurs. Our experience has shown that these decisions are best made with the support of loved ones and accurate medical information. We also believe that by respecting a person’s treatment choices we honor their life instead of focusing on their death.
Please take a look at the link below to see a review of Chris’ book that appeared in the Detroit Free Press.
Mosaic Connections consultants, Ann Caulfield-Cook, LMSW, PhD and Martha Hnatiuk, RN, MA joined Beaumont-Dearborn’s Chief of Palliative Care, Dr. Jacqueline Mohs in a panel discussion of Ethical Issues in Palliatve Care. The Panel was a break out -session at Beaumont’s second annual Palliative Care in Action conference. Dr. Mohs, Martha Hnatuik and Dr. Caulfield-Cook discussed the ethical concept of fidelity. Two clinical cases were presented that illustrated the concept of fidelty and fiduciary relationship.