Choose to Prepare
According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only one-third of Americans have their end-of-life wishes documented. Rates are far lower for African-American adults over 65, where only 19 percent have their wishes documented. In observance of 'National Healthcare Decisions Day,' the Alameda County Care Alliance (ACCA) held "I Choose to Prepare – Tell Your Story," an innovative celebration to empower congregants and community members in advance care planning and thinking through wishes at the end-of-life. The goal of the event was to approach the practice of advance care planning preparation in a positive, empowering and fun manner using video, music and the arts. These testimonial videos share personal stories of people who lost loved ones without knowing what their end-of-life wishes were. These first-person accounts encouraged others to embrace their fear with new skills and courage and begin the conversation with loved ones. Researchers at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis, partnered with ACCA to develop a care navigator program for faith-based communities. Navigators are trusted members within the community who provide personal guidance to caregivers and those needing care as they manage a health condition or move through the health care system. The program started with five hub churches and seven navigators and has grown to more than 14 churches and 14 navigators.