PRINCETON, N.J., April 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Goals of Care Coalition of New Jersey (GOCCNJ), New Jersey Advocates for Aging Well (NJAAW), and New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute's (NJHCQI) Conversation of Your Life (COYL) program are hosting a free virtual town hall meeting on April 16th led by experts in advance care planning.
The purpose of this event is to provide information and tools for the public to encourage thoughtful conversations about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with NJ state laws. Individuals living with serious illness, their families, and caregivers are encouraged to attend, along with anyone seeking more information about advance care planning. The virtual program takes place on April 16th from 12 pm to 1:15 pm over ZOOM. To register, please visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EG29iM9_SYCjMTylNGdGRA
"Advance Care Planning: How to Ensure Your Wishes Are Known and Honored" is being held in conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a 50-state annual initiative sponsored by The Conversation Project that begins on April 16th. More information about NHDD can be found at www.nhdd.org and www.theconversationproject.org.
"In New Jersey, people may think about their wishes for treatment prior to a medical emergency but too often do not record those wishes or discuss them with those who matter most to them," says Dapa Wilcox, Community Coordinator for NJHCQI's COYL program. "In a medical emergency, patients can't always speak for themselves and don't always get health care treatment that aligns with their preferences. Documenting and sharing goals of care ahead of time can help address this issue." A 2019 poll by the NJHCQI in partnership with the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University-New Brunswick shows that 61% of New Jerseyans have given a great deal or at least some thought to their wishes for medical care towards the end of their life. But only 47% have talked to someone about their wishes, 42% have designated someone to make decisions about their care if they are unable, and just 30% have a written document detailing their wishes. The COYL program aims to address this disconnect by providing NJ residents with advance care planning information and resources that support having these conversations before they are unable to speak for themselves.
Carl Archer, Certified Elder Law Attorney and NJAAW Board member adds, "We know the documents surrounding end-of-life care can be confusing and the process of completing them can be overwhelming for some. Our goals are to encourage planning for future care today and to educate the public about the legal documents used to indicate preferences for medical treatment in order to prevent crises and unintended consequences."
"Making healthcare decisions is difficult for most families for a variety of reasons including a lack of advance care planning," notes David Barile, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of GOCCNJ. "With the proper documents to instruct care, fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making these difficult decisions during a medical crisis and we can do a better of job of ensuring that we deliver care that is aligned with the patient's wishes," he says. "We are pleased to partner with NJAAW and NJHCQI to support people through the advance care planning process."
About GOCCNJ GOCCNJ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the only network of organizations in NJ working together to make certain that patients with serious illness get the care they need and no less, and the care they want and no more. We believe human interests, values, and dignity must be at the core of medical decision-making. As such, we aspire to create a standard of care for NJ where people explore their wishes for care towards the end of life, express those wishes, and have their wishes honored. Through research, education and advocacy, GOCCNJ's mission is to ensure that policy makers, healthcare providers, patients, and family caregivers have the information, resources, training, and tools they need to promote high-quality, person-centered advance care planning, palliative care, and end-of-life care services.
About NJAAW NJ Advocates for Aging Well, formerly NJ Foundation for Aging, has been at the forefront of revolutionizing the aging experience since 1998. It is the only statewide nonprofit focused solely on providing leadership in public policy and education to enable older adults to live with independence and dignity in their communities. NJAAW's social action issues include senior housing and hunger, elder economic security, older workers and transportation. The award-winning Aging Insights, a monthly topical TV program produced by NJAAW, connects caregivers, seniors and their families to community-based services and resources. The show is available on youtube.com/c/njadvocatesforagingwell, NJAAW's website at njaaw.org and on more than 70 public-access TV stations. NJAAW also presents educational forums and an Annual Conference (June 3-4, 2021) offering development opportunities and best practices for professionals entrusted with caring for seniors.
About NJHCQI The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute's mission is to improve the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for everyone. The Quality Institute membership comes from all stakeholders in health care. Together with over 100 members, they are working towards a world where all people receive safe, equitable, and affordable health care and live their healthiest lives.
About COYL The Quality Institute's Conversation of Your Life (COYL) initiative aims to improve advance care planning from a cultural and community perspective. COYL provides community leaders and local partners with tools to develop engaging community conversations around advance care planning. Generously supported by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, COYL is currently active in 15 counties and continues to grow statewide.