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Everyone 18 and older should choose a health care proxy

Tue, Oct 24th 2017 09:00 am
Avoiding tough choices won't make them go away. Begin the conversation...
Avoiding tough choices won't make them go away. Begin the conversation...

Niagara Hospice is kicking off National Hospice & Palliative Care Month with an Advance Care Planning program that is free and open to the community. The goal is to encourage people to begin a conversation to start learning about critical and end-of-life health care options. Topics covered will include choosing a health care proxy; organ, tissue and body donation; living wills and more.

The Advance Care Planning program will be held Thursday, November 2 at 3-4:30pm at Niagara Hospice, 4675 Sunset Drive in Lockport. The program encourage participants to think about what's important to them should their health become compromised; select an "agent" to speak for them should they become unable to do so; to talk about choices and put them in writing by completing a New York State Health Care Proxy form.

"Advance health care planning allows peace of mind for you and your family by reducing uncertainty, and avoiding confusion and conflict over your care," said Cheryl Ferguson, BSW, MSW and Niagara Hospice social worker. Ferguson asked: "If you ever become unable to make health care decisions for yourself, who do you want to do that for you?" New York State's Health Care Proxy Law, enacted in 1990, enables individuals to appoint a health care agent (proxy), such as a family member, trusted friend or loved one, to make medical decisions on their behalf should they become unable to do so.

Ferguson will facilitate the November 2 program and be available to answer questions. Free forms and refreshments will be available. Call 280-0742 to register for the free program.

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