At OCES, we believe that each of us should have the information that is needed to make the choices about our own healthcare that reflect our personal values and goals. There are a number of ways that all of us as consumers can develop the tools and have the plan in place that reflect our individual choices about how we wish to receive care in the event we are unable to speak for ourselves.
On the national level, April has been declared “National Healthcare Decisions Month” and more information can be found at www.nhdd.org. Their theme of 2017 is “It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late”.
In Massachusetts, one local effort is called Honoring Choices Massachusetts. The mission of this program is to make sure that every adult, 18 years and above, knows that he or she has the right to be fully informed about their health care choices, and the program helps share information so that everyone can find information about how to put a health care plan in place – and then how to put that plan into action when needed. A personal plan can include five parts:
- Health Care proxy
- Personal Directive on Living Will
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Orders for Life-sustaining Treatment (MOLST)
- Comfort Care/Do Not Resuscitate Order (CC/DNR)
OCES is a Community Partner with the Honoring Choices Program. This means that first, OCES is committed to making sure our own staff and board members have the choice in how they wish to receive care in their own lives in the event they are unable to speak for themselves through having a Health Care Proxy in place. Second, OCES and our Community Partners help individuals and families start a planning discussion and review and understand Massachusetts planning documents to make a personal plan. Third, we also help encourage person-centered care in our community.
OCES has staff, trained as Honoring Choice facilitators, and have presented a number of workshops in our service area to help people think about their wishes, start a conversation with their family members or people in their circle of trust, and then put their plan in action.
If you would like to learn how to answer the Honoring Choices question “Who’s Your Agent?” you can read more at www.honoringchoicesmass.com. Or, if you would like to talk with us at OCES, call 508.584.1561 and ask for Donna-Marie Forand.