LONG BEACH, Calif., April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- They're young, healthy and facing the future, but students at California State University Long Beach will confront death next week in a series of campus and community events aimed at opening up a very difficult conversation.
Cal State Long Beach is the setting for an extended observation of National Healthcare Decisions Day, next week. The annual occasion educates the public and health care providers about deciding now the care they want in the event of serious illness and injury and how they want to face dying and death.
Campus events include a massive "Before I Die …" wall, where students can express what's on their bucket lists, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 22-23; an Instagram challenge to win an Apple watch; and campus talks on how to have tough conversations with loved ones and doctors about care through the end of life.
"The 'Before I Die...' wall encourages students to think about and express what matters to them the most," said professor of nursing Joy Goebel. "The topic of advance directives flows much easier when framed around what people would want if they became too ill to speak for themselves."
She noted that naming a proxy (a "ride or die") should be as routine as checking the box to be an organ donor on your driver's license.
The week ends with a dynamic interfaith community discussion, "Listening is an act of love," 3-5 p.m., April 28, First Congregational Church, 241 Cedar Ave., Long Beach. It is free and open to the public. Leaders from various religions will explore how faith narratives connect generations and create legacies. Attendees will leave with tools on how to help deal with serious illness and find fulfillment through the end of life.
Liver cancer killed Linda Velazquez's dad. He was 62. Complications related to leukemia claimed her nephew. He was 7. Close encounters with death have taught the California State University Long Beach student that serious illness can strike at any age.
That's why she has an advance directive and has picked a health care rep – her trusted "ride or die" – if she's ever unable to speak for herself.
"We all had very serious conversations around advance care planning," Velazquez, 22, says of her family. "And all of us know what we'd prefer if something were to happen."
She and other students with personal stories are available for the media.
About the Institute for Human Caring
At the Institute for Human Caring at Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH), we are reimagining health care. We are creating models of care that embrace the values and priorities of the people we serve across seven Western states. We are moving to a system that partners with patients and their families in providing the best care in highly personalized ways. With 51 hospitals, 829 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services, PSJH and its partners employ more than 119,000 caregivers. Visit InstituteForHumanCaring.org.
About California State University Long Beach
Long Beach State University is a teaching-intensive, research-driven university. Each year, CSULB is ranked among the top universities in the nation for affordability, diversity and social upward mobility. Founded in 1949, the 322-acre campus enrolls more than 35,000 students and boasts more than 300,000 alumni who positively impact the community, state and the nation.
About MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center and MemorialCare Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach:
MemorialCare's Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach, are designated with the prestigious Magnet® recognition. Long Beach Medical Center has been providing compassionate care with the latest state-of-the-art technology for more than 100 years and is the region's first choice for comprehensive care in virtually every medical and surgical specialty. Miller Children's & Women's provides specialized pediatric care for children and young adults, with conditions ranging from common to complex — as well as maternity care for expectant mothers — all under one roof. Visit memorialcare.org/LongBeach and millerchildrens.org for more information.
About Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSULB is a Center in the College of Health and Human Services that offers members non-credit classes to adults 50 and older in a community that fosters personal growth, promotes individual empowerment, and nurtures human potential through lifelong learning.
SOURCE Institute for Human Caring