Advanced Directives and the Bride-to-be?

Did you know that less than 50% of terminally ill patients studied had advanced directives?

Each year, Covenant Hospice partners with the National Healthcare Decisions Day initiative to educate and inform about the importance of advanced directives during the month of April. I was recently reflecting upon the many opportunities we captured to help spread the word about the importance of advanced directives this year. It is our hope and mission to educate and influence increased utilization of advanced directives for you and your loved ones.

Did you know that over 40% of Americans had a friend or relative die from a terminal illness in the past 5 years?

This past weekend, I learned of a friend who was facing this journey with a dear friends family and while I did not get a chance to connect and ask, I wondered to myself if they had advanced directives ready or if they had the tools and resources needed to complete them.

I am a strong advocate for preparation. My motto (borrowed from a junior high friend) ”better to prepare than to repair” led me to my quick acceptance of the concept and purpose of advanced directives; mine are complete and on file, updated regularly. It is my hope that my family is never faced with unknowns should I end up in a situation where I am unable to make healthcare decisions for myself. It is also my hope to continue to share my knowledge of this family care support tool with all those willing to listen, and perhaps sometimes I take that to the extreme.

Case in point was my friend’s bridal shower. Advanced directives came up in the conversation and I was able to share some information with others celebrating the bride-to-be. As I was driving home after several hours of pizza, gifts, and conversation I thought to myself that while I am certain her guests are now informed about advanced directives, perhaps the bridal shower wasn’t the forum for this conversation. However, after a few minutes of self-reflection, I determined that my mission is to stay on course with every opportunity to share and educate about advanced directives because it is that important for you and your loved ones.

If you would like more information on advanced directives, please feel free to contact your nearest Covenant Hospice team. For a free copy of your state advanced directive, click on this link provided by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

My heart goes out the family referenced above, and to those who listened with an open mind during the bridal shower. I do hope it was useful information for your family’s journey.

Thank you to our Covenant family who taught and shared about the importance of advanced directives during the month of April 2012 and throughout the year.


About tristessao

Tristessa Osborne serves Covenant Hospice as the Vice-President of Marketing. She earned her Masters in Management in 2004 from Troy State University, and Bachelor's of Interdisciplinary Studies of Social Science in 2001 from University of West Florida. Tristessa moved to Pensacola in 1999, from Dallas / Fort Worth and has worked for Covenant since 2007. Prior to Covenant Hospice, Tristessa held positions in various capacities such as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor for teens, Case Manager for the severely mentally ill, and business management and ownership. She is past-chair of the National Hospice Workgroup, Sales and Marketing forum after serving three years as chair.

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