For those of us convinced that we will never age and never die the topic of death and dying can prompt a fair amount of anxiety. San Mateo Ombudsman Services, Board member, Cindy Safe was quick to put us at ease when she presented her work with the organization CODA to the monthly volunteer Field Ombudsmen meeting in October. She told us about CODA’ s mission to provide practical skills and tools to plan and receive the care you and members of our community want at the end of life.
The word CODA Is an Italian word to describe the last section of a piece of music that summarizes, sometimes playfully or sometimes seriously the themes of the piece of music bringing it to a satisfactory close. Think about Beethoven and the Ode to Joy! What a great way of thinking about end of life care and the ways we can help find a good ending to a lives well-lived.
From filling out Advanced Directives and letting your friends and family member know who you wish to make decisions for you if you can’t, to exploring what your wishes actually are, Cindy walked us through tools that make it so much easier.
She passed out a deck of cards – the Go Wish Game with topics to think about and talk about with your health care agent and family if you become seriously ill. Did you know that 80% of us will die in a facility of some sort and almost everyone chooses “ To be free of pain” as one of their top priorities. But not surprising, none of us had exactly the same priorities.
What is important to you? To have human touch, to feel my life is complete, to have a doctor who knows me as a whole person, to have my financial affairs in order …… The game includes 36 options plus a wild card to add anything that might have been forgotten- – your cat for example. ( insert picture of cards)
Cindy also shared some great resources:
– Kirsten Irgens-Moller