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“Do you have an Advance Directive?”
by Suzan Toth


Imagine being at the end of life or in an accident where you are unable to state your medical needs. If you have not prepared for such circumstances, the decision-making responsibilities will fall on your loved ones. Give them an invaluable gift by completing an Advance Directive. An Advance Directive is a written document that outlines a person’s desired medical treatment should they be incapable of communicating their wishes in the future. Talking about death and dying is a hard conversation to have, however, a little preparation can go along way in guiding your loved ones through these challenging times.

An Advance Directive has four sections that help you outline your desired medical wishes for the future. The first part includes naming a medical power of attorney, or health care agent, who communicates the specifics of your Advance Directive to medical professionals. Choosing your Health Care Agent is an important task. You should pick someone that you trust to follow out your wishes, who will be available when needed, and who can remain levelheaded in a serious situation.

Your living will is the second part of the Advance Directive, which will allow you to specify the decision-making power you wish your agent to have. You will also chose whether or not you would like to prolong life in certain situations. For most people, this includes making decisions about feeding tubes, resuscitation (CPR), and other life sustaining medical treatment.

Part three outlines how a person can make changes or annul their Advance Directive, and part four gives direction on how to make the Advance Directive a legal document. Changes or nullifications are as simple as signing a new document and writing “void” across the existing document. Legitimizing the document requires a witness who is not related by blood or marriage. After the document is signed, it is important to share this document with your Medical Power of Attorney, your physician, local hospital and others who are close to you. Make sure everyone has an updated copy, store your copy in an easily accessible location and share that location with your loved ones. Do not lock your Advance Directive in a safe or security deposit box.

It is recommended that you update your Advance Directive after major life changes. The Consumer’s Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning suggests reexamining your advance directive whenever one of the “Five D’s” occur:
Decade – when you start each new decade of your life.
Death – whenever you experience the death of a loved one.
Divorce – when you experience a divorce or other major family change.
Diagnosis – when you are diagnosed with a serious health condition.
Decline – when you experience a significant decline or deterioration of existing health condition, especially when it diminishes your ability to live independently.
Grand County Hospice holds Advance Directives Workshops twice a year to assist participants in making these difficult decisions. If you have any questions pertaining to Advance Directives please attend the next workshop at Moab Regional Hospital on Thursday, September 29th, from 5pm to 6:30pm. Jessie Walsh, RN, Director of Grand County Hospice, and Dr. Kathy Williams, MD, Grand County Hospice Medical Director, will lead the workshop and answer related questions. All forms will be provided. Please RSVP to Jessie Walsh at (435) 719-3772 if you would like to attend.

Spirit of the Desert - The Four Directions Massage
Reflection on the Native American Medicine Wheel led to the creation of Spa Moab's new massage service, where the four directions and the elements they represent are incorporated. The beginning of the service brings in the elements of air and fire with the use of a feather gently wafting the purification smoke of burning Palo Santo wood over and around the body. Drift into a place of comfort, while warm desert stones are placed on areas of the body which represent the earth element. The massage journey begins in the East by working the left hand to help bring in new, fresh, creative energy . The second portion of the service starts in the North with time spent on the head and neck bringing rest and relaxation. As our travel takes us to the West, massaging the right hand brings introspection. The service finishes with a grounding foot massage to complete the journey in the South. In closing, the water element is represented by spritzing the room in the four directions with the Sage and Lavender spray made by Moabs own Victoria White Eagle.
50 minutes $95 80 minutes $130

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