On January 29th, the Amazing Care Network, Inc. (ACN) had one of our best turnouts for the first 2020 Tea and Talks in Honolulu event. Cora Tellez, the CEO and founder of ACN, made sure that everyone was comfortable, and we even had the pleasure of seeing her sister and brother-in-law from Rhode Island. Cora spoke about some of her experiences when she was caregiving for her husband and how she started to think about who would care for her when it’s her turn to need assistance.  She relayed her feeling that, “It takes a village to age well.” She emphasized that aging well doesn’t mean that you age alone or in pain, and there was wholehearted agreement.

At each table, we had dialogue about elements that would be a good end of life for us or our loved ones.  We dove into this topic in a safe space and all found it to be engaging and insightful. We shared some elements of a good ending to our lives and ideal situations as we near that time; we found these components to be important for those at our table:

  • Not leaving a mess/burden – having everything organized
  • Transition in a safe space
  • Having the right-to-die
  • Being around loved ones – not being alone
  • Peace of mind
  • Seeing colorful artistic expressions in our surroundings
  • Assistance and guidance from practitioners in the Healing Arts
  • Candid conversations with family about death and dying
  • Creation of a Will and/or a Healthcare Power of Attorney

After an enriching discussion, Dailyn Yanagida (the General Manager of the ACN) introduced the panel of speakers who talked about the trends in end-of-life care. Jeannette Koijane, MPH (the Executive Director of Kōkua Mau), Michelle Cantillo, RN (the Advanced Care Planning Coordinator of Hawai‘i Pacific Health), and Warren Wong, MD (Clinical Professor and retired Kaiser Geriatrician) shared beneficial information which included palliative care, advanced care directives, POLST, and hospice.  Among those in the room were visitors, members, and other senior hospital administrators.

There’s no time like the present!  Today, consider thinking about how your wishes for care will be honored?  Will your family and/or friends know how you want matters handled?  If not, then it’s time to get the ball rolling because it’s never too soon.  There’s more to come about this topic to ease into what may be having difficult but necessary conversations with your friends and family.  Stay tuned!