February is National Heart Month. Residents of La Crosse, Wisconsin took it “to heart” and decided that talking about death is a healthy idea. Nationwide fewer than 30 percent of people have completed advance directives, but some 96 percent of people who die in La Crosse have a healthcare advance directive or similar documentation.
The Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement believes that our community can match or exceed the success in La Crosse by normalizing conversations about end of life health care and by increasing the number of people who complete advance directives.
End-of-life conversations aren’t all about death. The outcome of these important conversations is saying to our loved ones, “I care about you.” Improving advance care planning is a gift to our families — by planning ahead, we take the burden off of them when a health crisis develops.
Trained facilitators are available at Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement to help our community understand the importance of advance planning. “Take it to heart” and contact Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org and start your conversation.