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Young at Heart Jan 2022

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January 2022 edition Special Advertising Supplement to the Santa Cruz Sentinel Young at Heart Young at Heart In Santa Cruz County Continued on page 2 Have aging parents? Hospice of Santa Cruz County can help By Tara Fatemi Walker People in their mid-50's to mid-60's frequent- ly have aging parents in their late 70's and beyond. As our parents age, it's important to prepare ahead for the end of life, and to know what resources are available. Hospice of Santa Cruz County (hospicesanta- cruz.org) is a fantastic lo- cal nonprofit agency, and it provides much more than hospice services. First, the basics. "Hos- pice care, by definition, is provided for a person with a life-limiting illness whose doctor believes he or she has six months or less to live if the illness runs its natural course," explains HSCC Senior Director of Marketing Nancy Gere. "When a patient chooses hospice, it's often at a point when he or she understands the illness is not responding to medical attempts to cure it or slow the disease's progress. Hospice is a benefit of Medicare. Costs are covered by Medi- care, Medi-Cal, or most insurances for at least six months." HSCC often sees people waiting until the last minute to receive hospice care. With hos- pice, a team of healthcare professionals–hospice physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual care counselors, aides, and volunteer visitors–sup- port patients' medical, emotional, and spiritual needs. "The medical care is designed to provide relief from pain and symptoms. The emotional and spiritual support is for the entire family. Skilled social workers and music therapists help all parties involved find peace and even joy in this important, sacred stage of life." HSCC also provides services which are helpful prior to traditional hospice benefits. As you notice your parents declining, it can be overwhelming to sort through their needs, understand options, and make decisions. "This is amplified when a par- ent has a life-limiting condition, and you start to worry that your time together may be limited," Nancy adds. "Focusing on something concrete can help you feel more in control of the situation and give you a place to start. Sitting down with your parent to discuss his or her healthcare wishes ahead of time and making a plan is a gift you can give to yourself and your parents." HSCC offers help creating an Advance Directive to clearly com- municate your parent's healthcare wishes so there is no question about how to proceed when the time comes, and they can't speak for themselves. Virtual group sessions or individual appointments are available where you can learn how to identify your parent's end-of-life healthcare values, under- stand differences between Advance Directives and Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Forms, and get help filling out forms. Cathy Conway, HSCC's CEO, encourages people to learn about hospice now instead of later. "I'm saddened when I hear members of our com- munity say, 'if only we had known how hospice could help, we would have called sooner.' I get it… hospice can be a scary word," says Cathy. "And yet going it alone can be exhausting and often feel Resident music therapist, Anya Ismail, MA, MT-BC with patient Jackie Kercheval. Photo contributed by Hospice of Santa Cruz County. S N O I T C E J N I C I G O L O I B www.trilogymedical.net Soquel: (831) 600-8117 4105 Soquel Drive

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