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Your Health
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Alliance Sees Significant Increase in Completed Advance Care Directives at ‘Get It Done Today!’

Two participants celebrate the completion of their advance health care directives at the Alliance for Living and Dying Well’s “Get It Done Today!” event on April 16.
Two participants celebrate the completion of their advance health care directives at the Alliance for Living and Dying Well’s “Get It Done Today!” event on April 16.  (Alliance for Living and Dying Well photo)

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well, in partnership with the Santa Barbara Public Library, recently hosted their third annual "Get It Done Today!" event on April 16, in conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day.

The goal of this free community event was to help the public complete their advance health-care directives.

The alliance recognized a significant increase in the percentage of completed advance health care directives, which is a critical part of their mission to seek a seamless, compassionate continuum of end-of-life care. The alliance held 61 one-on-one facilitations with the help of 19 facilitators in four hours at the Faulkner Gallery with a 59 percent advance directive completion rate — almost double the completion rate of last year’s event.

“We are proud to see such an increase in participation at this year’s 'Get It Done Today!' event, and even more encouraged by the increase in people completing their advance health care directives,” said Susan Plummer, executive director of the Alliance for Living and Dying Well. “The alliance has consistently grown over the last several years and we could not be more pleased about our ever- expanding engagement and support.”

Completing an advance health care document through facilitated conversations with loved ones and health care agents is integral to ensuring that your health care preferences and values are known and honored when you cannot speak for yourself. Currently, in Santa Barbara County, only 10 percent of patients arrive at Cottage Hospital with a completed and accessible AHCD. Get It Done Today! is an opportunity for anyone in the community to come and begin the conversation, learn more about the process or take the initiative to complete his/her AHCD.

The alliance currently holds eight free monthly community workshops for the purpose of facilitating advance care planning conversations and completion of documents:

» B’nai B’rith Congregation — Every first Monday of the month, 1000 San Antonio Creek Road, 3 to 5 p.m. For information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Garden Court — Every third Wednesday of the month, 1116 De la Vina St., 3 to 5 p.m. For information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Hospice of Santa Barbara — Every third Thursday of the month, 2050 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite 100, 4 to 6 p.m. For information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Maravilla — Every fourth Wednesday of the month, 5486 Calle Real (Club House), 1 to 3 p.m. For information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Montecito Covenant Church — Every fourth Thursday of the month, 671 Cold Spring Road (Fellowship Hall), 10 a.m. to noon. For more information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Sansum Clinic — Every second Monday of the month, 215 Pesetas Lane (third-floor conference room), 10 a.m. to noon. Register online by clicking here or call 805.681.7582.

» Vista Del Monte — Every third Friday of the month, 3775 Modoc Road, 10 a.m. to noon. For information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care — Every second Tuesday of the month, 602 E. Montecito St. (Community Room), 4 to 6 p.m. Free Notary available. For more information or registration, call 805.845.5314.

Appointments are required, so call now to reserve at 805.845.5314.

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well is a collaboration of Santa Barbara area agencies that seeks a seamless, compassionate continuum of end-of-life care. The alliance fosters learning and awareness through discussions of our mortality, and it promotes practical planning, such as advance health care directives. For information, call 805.845.5314 or click here.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing the Alliance for Living and Dying Well.

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