Wake Forest Elder Law Clinic to participate in free Advanced Healthcare Planning workshop on Wednesday, April 15

Photo of Professor Kate Mewhinney

Professor Kate Mewhinney

Wake Forest Law Professor Kate Mewhinney, director of the Elder Law Clinic, and two law students, LaRita Dingle (’15) and Crissy Dixon (’16), will participate in a free Advanced Healthcare Planning workshop from 1-4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, at Senior Services in Winston-Salem, N.C.  Presented by the North Carolina Bar Association, the workshop is one of 55 offered during the month of April, which has been designated National Healthcare Decisions Month, as part of the Community Partnership for Compassionate Care coalition’s  “Got Plans?” campaign.

Only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Most of us recognize that April 15 is the deadline for completing taxes. Not many of us know that the following day, April 16, has been designated National Health Care Decisions Day. We plan for college, marriage, a baby and retirement, but we don’t prepare for the end of life. Less than 30 percent of adults have their health care wishes documented.

The Hospice & Palliative CareCenter is working in collaboration with other healthcare leaders in the region to make planning ahead easy and accessible. More than 55 free public and private workshops are planned in April and early May across North Carolina, all of which can be found at www.GotPlans123.org, under the workshops tab. The steering committee of the Community Partnership for Compassionate Care includes representatives from Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Wake Forest University School of Law, Senior Services, Hospice & Palliative CareCenter and Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care.

“Only when your wishes are known can they be honored. Most importantly have ongoing conversations with your loved ones about your choices before a situation arises when they have to act on your behalf without your guidance.”

All “Got Plans?” workshops will educate and offer resources in advance healthcare planning, end-of-life care, Living Will and healthcare power of attorney. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions from attendees. With an aim of reaching consumers before a healthcare crisis arises, these healthcare leaders have united to create awareness, provide education and encourage important conversations about your health care wishes.

This coalition – the Community Partnership for Compassionate Care – recently launched a campaign called “Got Plans?” to encourage anyone 18 and older to think about whom they would want to speak for them if they lost the ability to make and communicate their own healthcare decisions. This year, the coalition is spotlighting the importance of discussing, deciding and documenting your health care wishes. A “Got Plans?” resource kit has been created to guide conversations and make it easy for folks to document their wishes through advance directives.

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