The Truth About Advanced Directives

Over the last few months, many have participated in a game called “My Gift of Grace”. My group used it to open up some great discussions on different topics. Many of the topics had us reminiscing about past memories as well as addressing some tough subjects regarding health and legal issues faced during our later years.

The game flowed wonderfully into our November educational session: “The Truth About Advanced Directives” — “What are MY Options?” with speaker Ron Zack, an elder law attorney with the Udall Law Firm of Tucson. So what exactly are Advanced Directives and why do we need them? Known as Life Care Planning documents, Health Care Directives or Advanced Directives, these forms are important for directing your choices about health care. Distributed during the session was an information packet from the office of the Arizona Attorney General, Mark Brnovich. Here’s how he defines Life Care Planning in his introduction. “All states have laws that allow us to make future health care treatment decisions now so that if we become incapacitated and unable to make these decisions later, our family and doctors will know what medical care we want or do not want. State laws also allow us to appoint a person to make future health care treatment decisions for us if we become incapacitated, since we cannot predict what future decisions might be necessary. These laws are called ‘advance directives’ or ‘health care directives.’” There’s a lot of information in this packet – contact SNAP if you want a copy or go to http://www.azag.gov and search under Life Care Planning.

In addition to Advanced Directives, Ron Zack reviewed other legal documents that should be in place and reviewed every 2 to 3 years; these include Last Will and Testament, Living Wills, Trust Agreements, Powers of Attorney and HIPAA Authorization. Preparation for all these documents takes much time and thought and should be discussed with family members. As older adults, this is our “homework” – truly a gift we can give ourselves and our loved ones in the form of peace of mind.

Recommended Reading that may help in this process: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

Home and Garden Tour Follow-up

DSCN0452Already into our hot, summer months with the monsoon rains around the corner and missing our winter volunteers! We had a wonderful get together for those of us involved with the Home and Garden Tour in March. We couldn’t have had a better setting or weather for the Pre-Tour for volunteers. Thank you to our garden hosts and to all those who provided an abundance of wonderful food, for the volunteers who took the time to help with the event, for those who provided their homes for the tour, for our company sponsors and for all those that participated on the tour in support of SNAP. What a great opportunity as we continue to support this neighbors-helping-neighbors program.

DSCN0444So what is the purpose of the Home and Garden Tour? It is an avenue for raising funds and support for SNAP. But more importantly and what was so evident this year, was the opportunity for all the volunteers, guests and clients to come together and celebrate – celebrate our neighborhood and see what some of our neighbors have done as we tour their home and garden. No – we are not a significant historical district of Tucson and a lot of our homes are not gigantic showcases like other well established house and garden tours. But that’s not the point. We want to foster a neighborhood where we can enjoy growing old together and stand beside those that may need a helping hand.

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Why does that require fund raising? As SNAP has grown, needs other than volunter services in the home have emerged. Residents need access to community resources and information about moving out of their homes and to whom to turn to for caregiver support. There are questions about Medicare, insuDSCN0464rance problems and what legal paperwork should be in place for wills and powers of attorney – the list goes on. No – SNAP doesn’t have all the answers but we can find out many. SNAP continues the process of organizing educational sessions that address some of the more pressing issues. In order to provide and advertise these programs, funds are needed. We’ll be writing about some of these educational classes in future blogs.

If you have any thoughts for SNAP regarding the Home and Garden Tour, educational meetings or questions on services, please feel free to email us at SunriseSnap2@aol.com. We’d love to hear from you!

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You’ll want to watch this APM video about SNAP!

You’ll enjoy this special six-minute-long television feature on SNAP produced by Tony Paniagua of Arizona Public Media. It focuses on one of our good-humored clients for whom SNAP provides essential services, and whose story graphically highlights the value we add to our community. You can see this TV feature on YouTube on this link: APM SNAP Video.

Don’t forget to have your speakers turned on!

Even Blogs Have Beginnings

Yes, Turtles DO Talk and Blogs DO Have Beginnings–as of today,  July 27, 2014.

This bimonthly blog will highlight SNAP news and events,  participant-information, pictures and occasional thoughts or opinions related to senior adults living at home.  Anyone in the SNAP area is invited to contribute their thoughts, opinions or expertise; simply call the office at 520-437-9556, get the particulars and reserve a little time on the SNAP computer.

This week there are two upcoming events in the Sunrise Mountain Ridge Clubhouse, located at 6940 E. Loma del Bribon.

  • Tuesday, July 29th from 2-3:30 is the Senior Living Support Group discussion about  “Knowing When It’s Time to Make Some Changes.”
  • Wednesday July 30th is the monthly SNAP Lunch Bunch gathering from 11:30-1 P.M. Bring your own brown bag lunch and enjoy a beverage, dessert and lively conversation “on the house.”  We hope you will join us!

If you wish to make comments about the Blog, please use the Contact Us category of our website. You may also access the Summer Edition of snapshots (newsletter) under the Welcome to SNAP category.

 

 

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