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Free community presentation to plan for the unexpected

Volunteer presenters from Community First, a local non-profit dedicated to improving healthcare community-wide, will be offering a free class on Advance Health Care Directives, Friday, February 22, 2019. The event is hosted by Hawai’i Care Choices and will take place from 10:00 am – 11:30 am at the organization’s community building located at 1011 Waianuenue Ave., in Hilo. Those interested in attending are requested to RSVP to Jeanette Mochida at (808) 969-1733.

An Advance Health Care Directive is a written statement about a person’s future medical care. The Conversation Project, a national organization, providing resources for individuals and organizations to help people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care shares data that shows 90% of people say talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important, but 27% have done so. Additionally, 82% of people say it's important to put their wishes in writing but only 23% have done so.

“People don’t realize how important this information is,” says Lani Weigert, Clinical and Community Relations Manager for Hawai‘i Care Choices. “Illness or an unexpected injury can happen to anyone at any time. If you can’t speak for yourself, will your loved ones know if you want to be on a ventilator, feeding tube, or receive CPR? When it comes to end-of-life care one conversation can make all the difference.”

It is part of Community First’s mission to educate every resident over the age of 65 on the importance of having “The Conversation” with their loved ones, and the importance of having an Advance Health Care Directive. By holding sessions with many groups in East Hawai‘i, volunteer presenters are giving residents the tools and confidence to have these conversations. Research shows many critically ill people who die in hospitals receive unwanted, distressing treatments and have prolonged pain. Additionally, many fear that their wishes will be disregarded and that they will face death alone or in misery. This class seeks to alleviate these concerns.

Those attendees who already have a Living Will, a Health Care Power of Attorney, or an Advance Health Care Directive, will be taught how to review it to be sure it meets current medical needs and wishes. Those wishing assistance in filling out forms will receive guidance. “We are working with our community to help them understand that Advance Health Care Directives are a tool that gives our families the gift of clarity about our end-of-life wishes and who will speak for us when we cannot speak for ourselves,” shares Community First board member and volunteer, Charlene Iboshi.

“This is the best gift anyone can give to their loved ones, and it’s free,” says Lani. “Hawai’i Care Choices is so happy to partner with the dedicated volunteers of Community First.”

To RSVP or for more information call Jeanette Mochida (808) 969-1733 or email

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