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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

End-of-Life Coalitions for Improving Seniors' End-of-Life Care

As a clinical bioethicist, educator and hospice volunteer, the issue of how to help people have a good death matters a lot to me.  I wanted to share with you what is happening across the country.  Organizations called end-of-life coalitions are creating positive change for seniors and their families when it comes to better advance care planning and end-of-life care. 

These end-of-life coalitions have conferences, and offer training in better end-of-life communication, as well as updates on the legal changes coming to your state.  As CSAs, I would encourage you to check into these wonderful resources and opportunities to expand your understanding of how to improve a senior’s last days. 

Another great thing about these coalitions is the people you will meet.  The individuals involved in these coalitions are the movers and shakers in your state. They are also big-hearted, dedicated and passionate about making a difference – just like you.  You may find yourself getting caught up in the energy of a group that isn’t just talking about making a difference, but actually doing it. 

For those of you in Missouri, I will be speaking at the 8th Annual Policy Summit of the Missouri End-of-Life Coalition Conference on September 27. It’s open to the public: professionals and families alike can register to participate in the Conference.  It’s sure to be an exciting and educational day.

For more information about the Missouri End-of-Life Coalition:

The California coalition is another leader in the country in improving the last days of seniors lives. They have valuable end-of-life resources that you will find useful in distributing to your clients, residents, patients or family members no matter where you live or what you do.

I know many of us are faced with end-of-life decisions for our clients, whatever our professional field. If you work with any good resources, or simply want to share your experiences, let’s hear from you!

Have a kind and respectful day.

Viki Kind is a clinical bioethicist, educator and hospice volunteer.  Her award winning book, “The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making:  Making Choices for Those Who Can't,” guides families and professionals through the difficult process of making decisions for those who have lost capacity.

For more resources on end-of-life issues from the Society of Certified Senior Advisors available for seniors and their loved ones visit Information for Life.