My experience with my Grandpa left us all with a priceless lesson; being proactive allows for you to clearly make decisions instead of being forced into a reactive situation under pressure.
Growing up, I was very fortunate to have my grandfather as a strong male role model. One of the many things he instilled in his family members was the importance of organization, planning and preparing for life events. Through his guidance, I learned the value of hard work and thinking ahead in order to plan for my desired career growth, utilization of 401K and IRA for retirement and something not often talked about, end of life planning.
Our entire family knew of the folder that was kept in his office because Grandpa reminded us of it often. The folder held all of Grandpa’s important documents, such as power of attorney, living will funeral plans and even the obituary he had written for us to use at the time of his death. He had been having conversations about end of life for over 25 years with his children, often updating his advance directives over time.
One evening, the significant value of the folder became apparent when Grandpa suffered a massive stroke. Due to his foresight and preparation of his advance directives, our family was able to spend his final days carrying out his desires in his expressed wishes rather than being forced to make reactive decisions. Grandpa left us all with a priceless lesson; being proactive allows for you to clearly make decisions instead of being forced into a reactive situation under pressure. This is something that I think about in my current role on a daily basis and something I am very passionate about sharing forward.
Through this experience with my Grandpa and many professional experiences in my career path, I have seen the benefits of advanced care planning first hand. I am honored to be a part of this initiative at Hospice of the West and the ability to “lead by example” for other health care professionals.
Lisa has been a hospice professional for over 10 years after realizing the benefits of a multidisciplinary team approach for patient and family centered care, which increased quality of life for those she cared for. She started her hospice career as a case manager, providing direct patient care, and now serves as the Director of Hospice Services at Hospice of the West. Lisa is also the Outreach Director with the Hospice of the West partner, Turn-Key Health, a palliative illness management that delivers a specialized approach, with niche capabilities and expertise for conducting progressive and difficult conversations around goals of care and quality of life.