Free Community Resources Offered: Making Personal Healthcare Choices Known

LaBena Fleming of Hospice of the Western Reserve 

Hospice of the Western Reserve - along with other national, state and community organizations - is participating in a national campaign running now through April 16, 2015 National Healthcare Decisions Day, to highlight the importance of making personal healthcare choices known. Free downloadable web resources and community educational events are planned.

Hospice of the Western Reserve has scheduled the following free east side community educational opportunities. Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will documents will be available and a representative from Daniel P. Seink Co., Ltd., will be available to answer questions and witness the signing of documents. Both sessions are open to the community; no reservations required.

Friday, April 10, 2015 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd, Cleveland Hts.

 Thursday, April 16, 2015 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Euclid Lakefront Community Center, One Bliss Lane

As a participating organization, Hospice of the Western Reserve is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and to execute written advance directives (Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will) in accordance with Ohio state laws. The nonprofit agency is offering access to a free guide, “Courage in Conversation,” which includes the actual legal forms required by the State of Ohio. A simple, easy-to-understand worksheet is included in the guide to assist with evaluating choices. The booklet and forms are available at

Gwen Ellis, a retired Cleveland-area social worker, is the primary caregiver for her husband, Lewis, who developed dementia very early – at age 50. “I wish we had completed our advance directives much earlier,” she admitted. “I spend a lot of my time now talking to people and encouraging them not to make the same mistake Lewis and I did,” she said. “If your wishes are not known, or you are hospitalized and not able to make choices, someone needs to make choices for you. There are plenty of workshops and classes available so you can be prepared.”

“Having a plan in place that accurately communicates our healthcare choices spares loved ones from the agony of guessing what we would want, and it also provides us with a voice in our own care at the end of life,” said LaBena Fleming, Hospice of the Western Reserve. “It’s one of the greatest gifts we can provide not only to our families but to ourselves.”  For more information, visit

Laurie Henrichsen

Laurie Henrichsen, Public/Media Relations Manager Hospice of the Western Reserve

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 8:45 PM, 04.03.2015