Planning Your Final Journey – End of Life Decisions

End of life planning is a gift – the opportunity to actively participate in life’s final passage. This series will help you make the key choices to ensure that your last journey is what YOU wish it to be. Five 2-hour sessions:

2/7 – Session 1: Introduction and Odds & Ends for the End – speaker Deena Steinberg

3/13 – Session 2: End of Life Medical Decisions. Speaker Patty Albrecht RN, CHPN; VNHSC Hospice and Palliative Care.

Did you know that the hospice movement started in Connecticut yet our state has the lowest rate of hospice use? Do you wonder what the difference is between curative, hospice, and palliative care? Are you ready to make end of life medical decisions for yourself or a loved one?  Patty Albrecht, Hospice and Palliative Care Liaison for Visiting Nurse and Health Services of CT, will discuss End of Life Medical Treatment options on Sunday, March 13, 2016 from 1:15-3:15PM. Patty says she dedicated her nursing career to caring for patients and their families as they face terminal illness after witnessing poor pain control, suffering and uninformed patients and families.  “I had a patient who was very scared about living his last days in pain, and being a burden to his family. With hospice home care services, the patient was able to die a comfortable and dignified death at home with his family, his dog and watching the birds at his feeders.  He lived his last days reminiscing about his life, seeing how important he was to loved ones and knowing that he left a positive imprint on this world.  Focusing on how we want to live each day we have on earth, being able to make personal choices of what medical care we want or do not want is vital.” Light refreshments will be served.

4/10 – Session 3: Legal Planning – speaker Malcolm Barlow, Attorney, Barlow & Murphy, LLP

Attorney Malcolm Barlow will speak and answer your questions on legal planning including Wills, Advanced Directives, and Healthcare Power of Attorney.

Malcolm F. Barlow is a partner in the Manchester law firm of Barlow & Murphy, LLP. He is a past president of the Manchester Bar Association and a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys.  He lectures often on probate and elder law issues.  He is a native of Manchester and represents a number of local civic organizations.

4/24 – Session 4: Aid in Dying Movement – speaker Tim Appleton, Compassion & Choices – Campaign & Outreach Manager

The speaker will be Tim Appleton, Campaign Manager for CT Compassion & Choices, the organization leading the movement which has legalized medical aid in dying in 5 states. Find out what is happening in Connecticut and learn about efforts “to protect and expand end-of-life options — and to ensure healthcare providers honor and enable patients’ decisions about their care.”

5/22 – Session 5: Planning Your Memorial Service – speaker Rev. Josh Pawelek, Unitarian Universalist Society: East

What makes a memorial service memorable and unique? How do you want to be memorialized? Rev. Josh Pawelek will lead participants in reflecting on the themes of their lives and the stories that matter.


Suggested reading: “The Better End” by Dan Morhaim; “Being Mortal” by Dr. Atul Gawande

Click here for the Resource Guide (Updated 4/18/16)

Click here for the Intro Session Slides

Click here for Planning Your Final Journey Q and A

Deena Steinberg, [email protected]

Sundays  2/7, 3/13, 4/10, 4/24, 5/22. 1:15-3:15 p.m.

Sign up by calling the church office, 860-646-5151 or by email at [email protected]. Please include your name, course name and date.

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