On Wednesday, July 12 at 3:00 PM at the Blanchard Community Library, Rev. Maddie Sifantus of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula will present a workshop open to all on planning for the end of life using the outstanding document, Five Wishes. This document is an easy to use legal document written in everyday language that lets adults of all ages plan how they want to be cared for in the case they become seriously ill. It is America’s most popular living will with more than 14 million copies in circulation.
Five Wishes helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it speaks to all a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. Five Wishes also helps structure discussions with your family and physician. It is also a great tool to focus discussions with aging relatives so that you know their wishes.
Five Wishes is a legal document in California. There are only eight states remaining in which Five Wishes does not yet meet the legal requirements. These states either require a specific state form or that the person completing an advance directive be given a mandatory notice or “warning.” Residents of these states can still use Five Wishes to put their wishes in writing and communicate their wishes with their family and physician. Most health care professionals understand they have a duty to listen to the wishes of their patients no matter how they are expressed.
Rev. Maddie Sifantus ran a non-profit elder ministry for 20 years before she entered ministry in the Parish. She was a chaplain for the PBS run of Bill Moyer’s On Our Own terms and has taught workshops for end-of-life planning, death and dying and bereavement for many years. She will present the Five Wishes document and talk about the issues involved. Five Wishes will be available to all participants. Copies will be available in both English and Spanish. There is no cost; a donation of $5.00 is recommended to defray costs.
For questions of Rev. Sifantus, call her private office line at 805-525-4620. For questions about library programs, please call 805-525-3615.