ENloe Medical Center
530.332.5589 - office
Enloe, Passages offer free training for ‘Five Wishes’
living will program
Simple form helps people easily document how they will be treated
if they become seriously ill
CHICO, Calif., May 14, 2010 – Enloe Medical Center and Passages are partnering to educate the community about an easy-to-complete living will called Five Wishes. The first “train the trainer” class will take place this month. Five Wishes is a simple document that enables people tell how they want to be treated in the event they become seriously ill and are unable to speak for themselves. The simple form involves checking boxes, circling directions and writing a few sentences to express one’s personal, emotional and spiritual needs and medical wishes.
The first free “train the trainer” classes will take place May 19 from 9 a.m. to noon and June 8 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Enloe Conference Center. Reservations are required; please call (530) 332-7016. Many local houses of worship have already signed up their members to attend the classes, and service organizations are also encouraged to send representatives. Attendees will learn the importance of having an advance directive and how thoughtful decisions made now will ease difficult medical decisions in the future. They will also learn how to help their peers complete Five Wishes.
Enloe’s and Passages’ Five Wishes campaign will continue for the next 12 months. During that time, it will expand to include workshops for houses of worship and social organizations that do not have people who would be able to train their members.
“We want families to talk about their wishes at their kitchen table and with their doctors,” said Trudy Duisenberg, Enloe’s Community Outreach Coordinator. “When someone takes the time to complete the Five Wishes form, it protects them and prevents family members from making hard choices without knowing their loved ones’ wishes.”
Having this information in writing leads to better patient care in hospitals, Duisenberg added. “When families do not discuss how they want to be cared for, it can create discord within families and friendships. Unfortunately it can also disrupt patient care because decisions need to be made, often in a timely matter. When we know what our mother, father, spouse or friend wants, we are able to be with them when they need us most.”
“Five Wishes is an opportunity for families to share with each other and begin the conversation about the type medical care they wish to receive when they are unable to speak for themselves,” said Joe Cobery, Director of Passages. A Chico-based organization, Passages offers services and programs to help caregivers and older adults lead healthier, happier, and more rewarding lives by providing and supporting the critical services and community resources they need.
Five Wishes, from national non-profit Aging With Dignity, helps document:
- The person you want to make care decisions for you when you can’t
- The kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want
- How comfortable you want to be
- How you want people to treat you
- What you want your loved one to know
Five Wishes can be used by anyone 18 or older and has already been completed by more than 18 million people in the United States. Enloe and Passages are joining more than 23,000 other organizations, including hospitals, hospices, faith communities and employers across the country, in distributing the form. The program was started by Aging with Dignity Founder Jim Towry, who worked closely with Mother Teresa, and for one year lived in a hospice she ran. Five Wishes is now available in 23 languages. It was written with the help of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging and experts in end-of-life care.
Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at http://www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif. 95926.