Monday, May 5, 2014

National Decision Making Day

The New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law Section is sponsoring National Healthcare Decision Making Day 2014. What is National Healthcare Decision Making Day? It is a volunteer, public-service project which will involve attorneys speaking on topics relevant to older New Yorkers, their family members and caregivers. The National Healthcare Decision Making Day initiative is a collaborative effort of national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring that all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions. Despite recent gains in public awareness of the need for advance care planning, studies indicate that most Americans have not exercised their right to make decisions about their healthcare in the event that they cannot speak for themselves. The National Healthcare Decision Making Day will help people understand that making future decisions includes much more than deciding what care they would or would not want; it starts with expressing preferences, clarifying values, identifying care preferences and selecting an agent to express healthcare decisions if patients are unable to speak for themselves. According to a recent research study: 71% of Americans have thought about end-of-life treatment preferences, 95% have heard of a living will, but only 29% have a living will. The public is invited to attend a free session of National Healthcare Decision Making Day 2014, which is being held locally on May 14, 2014, from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport. Local attorney, Patricia George will be the speaker. The program will include a question and answer session, and a “legal checklist” with an overview of legal documents every New Yorker should be aware of. Topics will include: Health Care Proxies Powers of Attorney Wills DNR Organ Donations Probate What are healthcare proxies and powers of attorney? How do they differ? How can these documents help avoid problems regarding guardianship, DNR orders and organ donation requests? Why do I need a will? What insurance, pension and financial documents should I have? What must be done to complete and maintain these documents? It is important for everyone to understand the importance of having these documents in order, it doesn’t matter what your age is. When people are unprepared, it can be emotionally devastating, financially costly, and an obstacle for people to take care of everyday dealings. For more information or to register for the session, please call 433-1886.

Invitation to Learn at Annual Senior Forum

What do Financial Security and Benefits for Persons over 60 in a Tight Economy, Balancing a Healthy Budget on a Limited Income, EPIC, Chronic Illness Strategies in the Elderly, Diabetes Self Management, How the 2013-2014 NY State Budget Will Affect Seniors, Hoarding, and the Affordable Care Act all have in common? These topics are of interest to older adults and the opportunity to hear directly from a panel of experts on these subjects is coming up on Friday, May 16, 2014 from 1:00 – 3:00pm at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport. Additionally, service providers will be on hand with helpful information and displays from 12:30 – 1:00 and 3:00 – 3:30pm The Senior Forum is open to the public and free to attend. Angie Blackley, The Dale Association employee and coordinator of the forum is encouraging the public to attend. She says, “It is important for people to stay abreast of the issues that affect seniors. People can attend and hear directly from the decision makers about topics that are of such significance.” She goes on to say, “The panel will also have the opportunity to hear vital opinions from people who are affected by the policies and decisions being made. We are glad to bring together important groups of people around topics that are critical to each constituent.” Guest panel members will include: New York State Senator George Maziarz New York State Office for Aging Executive Deputy Director, Greg Olsen Chris Collins, Congressman 27th Congressional District EPIC Outreach Representative Gabrielle Dotterweich Associate State Director AARP Bill Armbruster Corrine Tracey, RN Niagara County Public Health Nurse Lisa Frankenberger, Certified Financial Counselor for Consumer Credit Counseling Services Miriam Callahan, Project Coordinator Caregiver Resources for Erie County Senior Services I hope the public will attend and hear first hand what is happening with issues affecting seniors locally. Please call 433-1886 to reserve your seat. Refreshments will be served.