Choosing & Guiding Your Healthcare Agent

A 2016 study by the Massachusetts Coalition on Serious Illness Care found that over half of respondents had not named a Health Care Agent. A large portion of respondents reported that their doctor had not spoken to them about their wishes at the end of life. Discomfort with speaking about the end of life is a barrier to proper planning and can lead to poor health outcomes, and sometimes a court-appointed guardian.

The Guardianship Academy is offering a unique opportunity for programs serving older adults to engage their members in this important conversation. We have developed a training on Advance Directives and Decision Making Support that will discuss the benefits of naming a Health Care Agent and help participants complete a Health Care Proxy form.

Recent media reports including articles in the New Yorker and AARP Magazine have explored problems within the guardianship system in the United States. Although guardianship is meant as a solution to help people who are unable to express their wishes and goals, it may be misused and may be frightening to older adults.

This presentation will discuss when guardianship is appropriate and how to prepare oneself to avoid the need for guardianship. This program is 2 hours giving time for the presenters to answer questions from the audience. The presentation is appropriate for Councils on Aging participants, Senior Centers, Assisted Living Facilities and other programs that serve older adults.